Ronald G. Penny serves as chair of the Department of Public Administration and teaches courses in human resources, law and leadership. His career, in both the private and public sector has focused on building opportunities for people and communities that have historically suffered disenfranchisement.
He comes to the post of Chair after a distinguished career. Penny was the first Vice President for Human Resource for the University of North Carolina System. Prior to that appointment, he served eight (8) years as the Director of the NC Office of State Personnel and as a member of the executive cabinet of former Governor James B. Hunt. In this position he established policy for 120,000 public employees and managed a $19 million public sector organization. Under his leadership, the NC human resource system was evaluated as one of the top 8 in the nation. In 1999, He has served as President of the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Other professional experiences include Senior Managing Partner in Penny & Barnes, a multi-state law firm in northeastern NC and Tidewater Virginia, Legal Counsel to the Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University and environmental attorney for E.I. DuPont Corporation.
For a number of years he served as an Associate General Counsel for the North Carolina Conference of Branches and as President of the Pasquotank County Branch of the NAACP. He was lead attorney in a number of voting rights cases in eastern North Carolina. His efforts to expand voting opportunity in Eastern NC and thereby change public policy were featured in the book Quiet Revolution in the South by Chandler Davidson and Bernard Grofman, Princeton University Press.
Penny has taught at Elizabeth City State University, and been a guest lecture at Appalachian State University. From 2006 until recently Penny has served North Carolina Central University as an Assistant to the Provost for Policy and chaired a number of university committees.
He has researched and written many of the policies currently implemented for North Carolina employees. He continues to be a consultant and speaker for local government and state agencies. In 2001, Penny was ordained as a Deacon in the Good Samaritan Baptist Church in Garner, NC. He currently serves as the secretary to the Board of Deacons and is the former superintendent of the Sunday School.
His public service includes 2 terms as the chair of the Board of Directors for the United Way of North Carolina and a member of the Governor's Budget Reform and Accountability Commission.
In February 2012 he was appointed by the Governor to the 5 member North Carolina State Board of Elections. The State Board of Elections is the state agency charged with overall responsibility for administration of the elections process and campaign finance disclosure in North Carolina. The SBOE is the only statutory bi-partisan, quasi-judicial supervisory board in North Carolina State government.
Ron holds a BS in Economics for North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, summa cum laude, and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.