Faculty & Leadership

The faculty members you’ll find at the UNC School of Government are trusted public leaders, experienced educators, and prolific authors who effect change from the local governments of North Carolina to the halls of Capitol Hill.

Program curricula is designed by lead faculty members with extensive expertise in the areas of government and public affairs. Our renowned, award-winning faculty also draw on their research and daily work with public officials, making our leadership toolkit current, relevant, and practiced.

Live courses are taught by experienced adjunct faculty, many of whom are MPA alumni and active public service practitioners. Through live discussions, coursework, and practical learning opportunities, they bring to life the issues modern public officials are facing—and show you how to bridge theory with practice in public organizations.

Practicing. Leading. Teaching.

Our faculty members see public administration up close, consulting with and advising local, state, and federal officials on a daily basis. Every year, they publish dozens of books, reports, and articles, and respond to thousands of requests for support from local governing boards, legislative bodies, and statewide commissions. They hold major posts and elected positions in numerous national scholarly and professional organizations, including:

  • The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
  • The North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA)
  • The International City/County Management Association (ICMA)


Full-Time MPA Lead Faculty


Live Session Faculty


Annual Publications Authored by the School of Government Faculty


Public Officials Served Annually by the School of Government Faculty

The result? An unparalleled learning experience that is wholly informed by the modern public service landscape. Our students describe their teachers as knowledgeable, open, and engaging and tell us the quality of instruction is second to none.

Click here for a full list of MPA faculty.

Join A Network of Distinguished Public Service Leaders

When you join the UNC School of Government, you will have access to professionals with connections to public service opportunities that align with your career goals and passions. Below are organizations where our faculty serve as active members and public service practitioners:

Kody H. Kinsley

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS); former roles and appointments include operations lead for North Carolina’s COVID-19 response; chief deputy secretary for the NCDHHS; assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury; policy advisor at the White House.

Willow Jacobson, MPP, PhD

MPA program director; creator and former lead faculty for the Local Government Federal Credit Union Fellows Program, a training program for emerging local government leaders in North Carolina.

Monica R. Allen, PhD

A natural leader, Monica Allen serves as an active board member for groups including Women + Girls Research Alliance and Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange while teaching Local Government as an adjunct instructor.

Maureen Berner, MPP, PhD

Maureen Berner joined the School of Government in 1998, teaching courses on topics including program evaluation, statistics, and budgeting. She has used her expertise in research methods to help the North Carolina Hunger Project better understand hunger and food insecurity in the state.

Whitney Afonso, PhD

Prior to joining the School of Government in 2012, Whitney Afonso taught in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. A published author and researcher, Afonso was recognized by Public Budgeting & Finance with its Jesse Burkhead Award in 2016.

Jonathan Morgan, PhD

Jonathan Morgan brought his expertise in economics to the School of Government in 2003, where he currently serves as course director for the annual Basic Economic Development course. He has served as research and policy director for the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development to help minority-owned businesses grow. Morgan currently serves as a member on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council.

Program Staff

Our program staff is also committed to supporting your learning experience throughout your time in the program.

Allison Binkley

Allison Binkley

Associate Director of Career Services and Professional Development