Anita Brown-Graham loves her job.
"I'm really drawn to the idea of dismantling barriers and helping to create new systems and law gives me the opportunities to do that," Brown-Graham, professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government and director of the ncIMPACT initiative said. "I have the opportunity to make a difference."
In 2016, Brown-Graham came back to the School of Government to be Director of the ncIMPACT initiative after spending nine years as the Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University.
"She is really driven to succeed and to make an impact, no pun intended," Research Director for ncIMPACT David Brown said. "I think she's got really great vision and can see the final product of something from the start and know where it’s going to end up and why what we are going to do is going to be important.”
The Institute for Emerging Issues is a public policy think tank that inspects issues facing North Carolina’s future in growth and prosperity. The people who work in this "think-and-do tank" come from a wide range of careers in business, government, higher education and nonprofit organizations. Brown-Graham led plans for economic development and more civic engagement programming to be created within North Carolina.
The ncIMPACT initiative works to expand the School of Government’s exposure to important policy issues. They look to support communities working against issues including economic mobility, poverty and the labor pool.
Matthew McKirahan, a graduate student in the MPA Program who worked with Brown-Graham on a pre-K education expansion in Forsyth County, said the public law professor embodies a collaborative leader.
“You felt the excitement that she felt when you left a meeting," McKirahan said. "She brings out the best of people and truly cares about the state of North Carolina.”
Her positive attitude helps her stay afloat in the intense environment.