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Andy Willis

Office District Status
Governor's Lobbyist Statewide Appointee
Party In Office Since Term Ends
Independent 2008
Level of Government  
Governor's Administration  
Date of Birth Birthplace Now Lives In
August 10, 1968 Smithfield, NC Cary, NC

Synopsis

Andy Willis is the governor's top legislative lobbyist. After earning a master's degree in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, Willis worked as a fiscal analyst for the state Senate leadership and the powerful Appropriations Committee then chaired by Sen. Beverly Perdue. From 2003 to 2006, he served as a lobbyist for N.C. State University, and from 2006 to 2008, as vice president of government relations for the University of North Carolina system. In December of 2008, Gov.-elect Perdue  named him her senior advisor for governmental affairs. He was the first non-lawyer in that position in years.

Trivia

He owns a 1980 32-foot sailboat.  

Endorsements

Biography

Marital Status
Married
Spouse
Jennifer
Children
Two sons, Drew and Max

Andy Willis is the governor's top legislative lobbyist.

Early Life and Education

Lee Andrew Willis III was born in Smithfield, N.C. He was adopted by Lee and Caroline Willis at the age of two days from the Children's Home Society in Greensboro. 

His father was an engineer for Sylvania who opened an automotive and furniture store. His mother worked in the family business.

Soon after he was adopted, his parents moved to Bayboro, where he grew up.

He graduated from Pamlico County High School in 1986.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from N.C. State University in 1990.

He earned a master's degree in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1996.

Professional Career

From 1991 to 1994, Willis worked a variety of jobs for Pamlico County, including county planning director, fire marshal, emergency management coordinator, assistant to the county manager and acting county manager.

From 1996 to 2003, Willis worked as a senior budget policy and fiscal analyst for the Fiscal Research Division of the state legislature.

In that role, he worked closely with the state Senate, serving as the primary staffer for the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which was chaired by Sen. Beverly Perdue from 1995 to 2000, as well as advising Senate leader Marc Basnight.

From 2003 to 2006, he served as assistant to the chancellor for external affairs at N.C. State, working as a liaison to state government, Wake County and the city of Raleigh. He worked to repair strained relations with the local community and advised the Board of Visitors.

From 2006 to 2008, he worked as vice president of government relations for the University of North Carolina system.

In that job, he argued a proposed biodefense facility in Butner was safe and was quoted being grateful for state higher education funding, explaining why the UNC system has so many vacant jobs and noting that UNC leaders did not ask for athletic scholarships in the state budget.

He spent the majority of his time advocating for the university's budget and policy goals and working with UNC President Erskine Bowles

Volunteer Work

Willis serves on the board of directors of the Triangle chapter of the American Red Cross and in the education cabinet for the Triangle United Way.  

Political Career 

In December of 2008, Gov.-elect Perdue named him her senior advisor for governmental affairs, essentially her top legislative lobbyist.

He was the first non-lawyer in that position in years.

Research and reporting by Ryan Teague Beckwith. 

Occupation

Senior Advisor for Governmental Affairs
N.C. Governor's Office






Community Involvement:
Not specified.

Contact Info







Education

bachelor of arts
N.C. State University
Graduated: 1990
Master of public administration
UNC-Chapel Hill
Graduated: 1996


Military

Not specified.

Links










N&O Profile:









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