Thomas W. Ross '72 Tapped to Lead Volcker Alliance

Paul A. Volcker, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, announced today the appointment of Thomas W. Ross '72, the former president of Davidson and of the University of North Carolina, to lead the Volcker Alliance. The alliance is a nonpartisan organization formed in 2013 to address the challenge of effective execution of public policies and to rebuild public trust in government.

Ross served as a judge in the North Carolina Superior Court for 17 years and continued his public service as director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts before serving as the chief executive for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc. From 2007 to 2010, he served as president of Davidson. He was the president of the 17-campus University of North Carolina from 2011 to 2016. On May 26, Ross was named as the 2016 recipient of the University Award, the highest honor given by the UNC Board of Governors. Board Chairman Lou Bissette of Asheville presented the award, which recognizes illustrious service to higher education in North Carolina. Ross is currently serving as the first Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and will continue in that role after joining the Volcker Alliance. His tenure as the president of the Volcker Alliance will begin July 1.

"The strains and pressures on government at all levels are plain to see," said Volcker, the founder and chairman of the Volcker Alliance. "Tom Ross's broad experience in education, government, and philanthropy will be brought to bear on all our efforts to improve government performance."

Central to the Alliance mission will be working with leading universities, scholars and practitioners to build support for professional excellence among civil servants and well-designed research relevant to government performance.

"In all those areas, Tom has knowledge and skills in building relationships and brings leadership to our efforts. I am very glad to have him come to New York and lead the organization," Volcker said.

"I admire and am inspired by Mr. Volcker's vision in creating the Alliance," said Ross. "It will be an honor for me to work alongside of him and the other outstanding board members to catalyze the development of a new generation of public servants and improve the effectiveness of our federal and state governments."

"We're extremely fortunate to have Tom join this effort," said Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York and a director on the alliance's board. "He's been in government and he gets the issue the alliance is tackling - not what should policy be, but how best can that policy, whatever it is, be implemented. He's coming from much bigger organizations and his managerial skill will be critical as the work of the alliance continues to grow and mature."

Another director, Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said, "Clearly, Tom was attracted to the power and urgency of this organization's mission. America's leadership in the world and the well-being of her people depend on a government that works well, a government that can deliver on the mundane task of issuing social security checks but also take on massive and complex challenges such as preventing terrorist attacks. Tom knows how to get things done. He can move the needle."

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  • May 18, 2016