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UNC names Nelson as Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy

Gary Nelson is a recipient of the 2013 Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nelson is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work. He is also the associate director for program development and training in the school’s Jordan Institute for Families. His interests include public engagement research, education and service. His public engagement activities center on leadership development, organizational and community change, social entrepreneurship and sustainable development, and individual and collective processes of self-evaluation. These commitments are designed to help citizens reconnect to and revitalize their social institutions, communities, families and personal lives.

His five-year chair will begin on July 1, 2013.

About the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, N.C., established the five-year chair to honor the retirement of Thomas Willis Lambeth, who served as executive director of the foundation from 1978 until 2001.

A native of Clayton, N.C., Tom Lambeth has dedicated himself to the people of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC in 1957, serving in the army and working as a journalist for the “Winston-Salem State Journal,” Lambeth worked as a staffer for N.C. Gov. Terry Sanford. From 1965 to 1969, he was an administrator at the Smith Richardson Foundation in Greensboro, and from 1969 to 1978, he worked for U.S. Representative Richardson Preyer.

In 1978, Lambeth became executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. During his tenure, the foundation awarded grants totaling more than $260 million to assist nonprofit organizations that focused on community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity, and strengthening democracy. This included nearly 400 grants exceeding $27 million to benefit campuses of the UNC system and affiliates such as UNC-TV and the UNC Press. Lambeth continues to work with the foundation as a senior fellow.

Lambeth is also a member of the UNC School of Social Work’s Board of Advisors.

About the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is committed to improving the quality of life of all North Carolinians. ZSR invests in statewide, regional and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that ZSR supports both work to build healthy, robust communities at the local and regional level and engage in research, education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. It currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, strengthening democracy, environment, public education, and social justice and equity. The foundation is a 75-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem, N.C. More information.

From UNC Development Communications