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NC State Announces Transition for New Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development

Kevin D. Howell, vice chancellor for external affairs, partnerships and economic development, has accepted a new position as chief external affairs officer for UNC Health and the UNC School of Medicine and will be departing NC State, effective Feb. 1, 2024. Howell has served in his role at NC State since 2018.

“Over the years, Kevin has built an incredible team and helped coordinate the university’s relations with local and federal government leaders, supported the creation of partnerships and spurred economic development investments with significant impacts for our university and our state,” NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “He will be greatly missed.”

An NC State alumnus and former student body president, Howell also served as assistant to the chancellor for external affairs at NC State from 2006 to 2016, as well as vice president for external affairs for the UNC System from 2016 to 2018, among other roles including as a legislative liaison for two former governors. 

Julie Smith, who has served as the associate vice chancellor for external affairs, partnerships and economic development for NC State since 2019, has accepted the vice chancellor role, effective Feb. 1, 2024. This appointment is contingent on the approval of the NC State Board of Trustees.

“As we look ahead, Julie has been an integral part of our team for the past several years, and is well-positioned to continue building on our tremendous legacy of support from the state and strong relationships with our external partners,” Woodson added. “I look forward to working with her to help advance the mission and vision of our great university.”

In her most recent role at NC State, Smith worked closely with Howell to support the work of the entire unit and served as the university liaison for state and local relations. Prior to joining NC State, Smith held roles as assistant to the chancellor for external affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, as well as the associate general counsel with the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association. 

Smith was a Park Scholar at NC State and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in environmental science with the designation of valedictorian. She earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia.