Pope Center elects Jenna Robinson as president

RALEIGH – Jenna A. Robinson, Ph.D., has been named president and executive director of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, effective February 16, 2015. She will replace Jane S. Shaw, who is retiring.

Robinson is currently director of outreach for the Pope Center. She has been with the center since 2007, where she has held a number of positions, written extensively about higher education, and testified before the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

Robinson received her Ph.D. in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 and her bachelor’s degree in political science and French from North Carolina State University in 2003. Dr. Robinson has taught courses in American politics at UNC-Chapel Hill, The College at Southeastern, and Wake Technical Community College.

Before joining the Pope Center, Robinson worked as the E.A. Morris Fellowship assistant at the John Locke Foundation. She is a graduate of the Koch Associates Program sponsored by the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

“Jenna’s experience with the Pope Center, her outstanding work as director of outreach and knowledge of economics and politics all combine to make her a great choice,” said Arch T. Allen, chairman of the board of the Pope Center. “Higher education is ripe for reform and Jenna will effectively build on the Pope Center’s accomplishments so far.” 

Outgoing president Jane Shaw joined the Pope Center in 2006 and has been president since 2008. Before that, she was a senior fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana, and previously a journalist. She worked as an associate economics editor at Business Week in the early 1980s.

The Pope Center’s board of directors selected Robinson on January 29 and named outgoing president Jane Shaw vice-chairman of the board.

In addition to Allen, a retired attorney and former member of UNC-CH board of trustees, board members include: J. Edgar Broyhill,III, president, Broyhill Family Group; Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, U.S. House of Representatives; John M. Hood, president, John William Pope Foundation; Joseph L. Lindsley, Sr., investment advisor, Quantitative Process, LLC; James G. Martin, former Governor of North Carolina; Burley Mitchell Jr., partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, former member of the UNC system Board of Governors, and former member of the N, C. State University Board of Trustees; Tim Moore, speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives; David W. Riggs, vice president of philanthropic strategy, the Philanthropy Roundtable; and Susan E. Tannehill, managing senior director, TIAA-CREF Trust Company.