board: providing thought leadership

A strong foundation of cross-campus collaboration and interdisciplinary partnerships is essential to cultivating a budding pan-university social innovation ecosystem.

The Social Innovation Initiative Board of Advisors was created in November 2014 to steer UNC Chapel Hill’s campus-wide Social Innovation Initiative to position UNC as a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society. This interdisciplinary group of thought leaders are charged with providing expert recommendations, developing a shared vision for the university, and securing funding to drive the next stage in the growth of the initiative.


Richard Harrill

Director of the Campus Y, UNC’s historic center for social justice

Richard brings expertise in social entrepreneurship and international affairs with over a decade of work experience. He leads the Campus Y, the 154-year old historic center for social justice at the university. Previous to this role while in Hungary, he founded and was board chair of Demokratikus Ifjusagert Alapitvany (DIA), a non-profit organization, which has for more than a decade developed a policy and programming infrastructure for youth service and civic engagement across Central Europe. He was also the Director for Europe of the Public Interest Law Institute in Budapest and prior to that, a professor of political studies at Bard College in New York, where he also served as the Director of Bard’s Program on Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA).

During the course of his career, he has been a researcher on international youth policy at the Columbia University School of Social Work; a Senior Fellow at the Bonner Foundation; a Peace Corps Volunteer; a consultant on youth policy to the Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation; and a policy consultant on civic engagement for the International Foundation for Election Systems across Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus Region, and Central Asia.


Judith Cone

Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Interim Vice Chancellor for Commercialization and Economic Development

Judith leads the campus in strengthening a university-wide culture of innovation and entrepreneurship so that Carolina is a place where innovators thrive. Before coming to Carolina, Judith served as vice president of emerging strategies and entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, capping a 15-year career with the Foundation. During her tenure, she led many of the foundation’s signature education and entrepreneurship initiatives and programs, including a business start-up training program that has been used worldwide by millions of entrepreneurs; an award-winning Web resource for entrepreneurs; and the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which has transformed the culture on university campuses by making entrepreneurship education accessible to students and faculty across all fields of study.

As global ambassador for the Kauffman Foundation, she worked with leaders around the world to help transform economies and was a sought-after speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship. She also writes and lectures nationally and internationally on entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously she served as the Interim Director of Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.


Dr. Jim Johnson

William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Director of Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Not only does Dr. Johnson teach social entrepreneurship in the classroom and is a distinguished economic development and impact researcher and demographer, he is also a serial social entrepreneur and is working to re-invent public education. Among many of the initiatives he has led, he is the founder of Global Scholars Academy, an education model that is transforming a distressed urban neighborhood in Durham, NC and the future of its children. His research interests include socio-economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity issues.

He is also a widely recognized expert on issues relating to the aging population, the demographic makeup of the U.S., and the challenges and opportunities, which emerge from those trends. He also serves as a senior research fellow at the Carolina Population Center and as an adjunct professor of public policy, sociology and geography.


Dr. Ted Zoller

T.W. Lewis Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Ted oversees the teaching and outreach programs of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler. His research focuses on the role and structure of entrepreneurial networks and the interrelationships with investor syndicates. He has posited a “dealmakers’ algorithm” to identify the most important actors in entrepreneurial ecosystems.

He serves as an advisor to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and works with them to scale the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, an entrepreneurship networking project based on his research. His teaching focuses on new enterprise development, business models and early-stage venturing with a focus on developing entrepreneurial leaders and teams. He is the founding instructor of Launching the Venture, which has increased the number of companies to spin-off from UNC. He also oversees Launch Chapel Hill, a new venture lab that supports UNC teams that are moving to the marketplace, and is a senior adviser to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Ted is also a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and collaborates with leading venture accelerators in Europe. He serves as the primary liaison for UNC Kenan-Flagler to the Research Triangle entrepreneurial community and serves on the boards of Idea Fund Partners, Rex Health Ventures, and Southeast TechInventures among others.


Thomas Kelley

Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Professor of Law; Faculty Supervisor of the Community Development Law Clinic; Director of Clinical Programs at the School of Law

Tom teaches and writes on the Law of Nonprofit Organizations and on International Law and Development. His Nonprofit Law scholarship focuses on the emerging 4th sector: hybrid for-profit/nonprofit organizations that are changing the face of American charity and philanthropy while his international work focuses on emerging legal systems in Africa.

He is the Director of Clinical Programs at the law school, also serving as the faculty supervisor for the Community Development Law Clinic (“CDL Clinic”). In that capacity, he works with third-year law students who provide legal counsel to community based nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. His scholarly work has appeared in such publications as the Fordham Law Review, Global Jurist, and the American Journal of Comparative Law, and his essays have appeared in popular journals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and American Diplomacy.


Dr. Bill McDiarmid

Dean of UNC School of Education and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Education

Bill leads faculty and staff as Dean of the School of Education. Previous to this role, he led the Carnegie-funded “Teachers for a New Era” project, a national initiative to use evidence, such as performance assessments of preservice teachers, to improve teacher education.

His research has focused on teacher learning, particularly the preparation of teachers to work with diverse learners, and teacher education programs. He has received an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association.


Julie MacMillan

Managing Director of Research and Innovation Solutions at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Julie directs Research and Innovation Solutions, which brings together the university’s commitment to research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and problem solving, which allows the school of public health to accelerate its response to some of the most pressing public health problems across North Carolina and the world. It encompasses three complementary enterprises: program, research support services, and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship at the school.

She worked at Quintiles from 1988 until 2004, initially as a biostatistician. As the company grew, she held various administrative positions, including that of Senior Vice President, Corporate Administration, for the company’s headquarters. In her final assignment at Quintiles, she served as Interim President, North American Clinical Development Services Division, Quintiles Inc., managing 2,000 employees.


Jack Richman

Dean of UNC School of Social Work

Jack leads faculty and staff as Dean of the School of Social Work. His research and scholarship have focused primarily on understanding the methodology of helping individuals, couples, and families develop and maintain the interpersonal and social processes that allow them to interface successfully with their ecological environment.

He is currently working on the development, validation, and testing of two quantitative measures that have application and utility for practice: the School Success Profile for children at risk of school failure and the Social Support Survey. His research is mainly focused in the areas of at-risk students, social support, and violence and trauma in childhood.


Emily Gangi

Associate Director of Carolina Center for Public Service

Emily helps lead the Carolina Center for Public Service, which connects the expertise of both the university and the community to provide students, faculty, and staff with deep transformative experiences including engaged scholarship and service.

Prior to joining the Center, she directed strategic planning for the North Carolina Community College System. She has served on the Hildebran Town Council, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Advisory Panel, and the board of directors of Burke Economic Development Council, Blue Ridge Healthcare Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Burke County.