Spotlight: Tony Reevy, IEI’s New Chief Development Officer

Recently, Tony Reevy made a brief lunch commute to help his daughter when her computer crashed. He didn’t have to go far, she was right across campus—one of the perks of both father and daughter calling NC State home.

The daughter, Lindley, is a first-year student studying psychology, while Tony’s the newest member of the Institute for Emerging Issues team, coming on board in February as IEI’s new chief development officer.

Reevy, a long-time University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill employee, graduated from NC State himself, and after a career that has spanned the fields of chemistry, public radio and academia, he’s happy to be back in Wolfpack Nation at an institution he feels embodies the very best principles of a land-grant university.

“There’s truly a feel of service here at NC State, a commitment to every county in the state,” said Reevy, on a recent afternoon from his office in IEI’s headquarters.

Most recently, Reevy served as the associate director for advancement, then senior associate director at UNC-CH’s Institute for the Environment. Before that, he spent time working in public radio and university library development, among other endeavors. Believe it or not, his very people-focused career started with two very hard science degrees: chemistry and civil engineering at NC State, though a year working as a mass spectroscopy technician (about as exciting as it sounds) after graduation convinced Reevy to try a different path.

That path led to an MBA from UNC and a subsequent segue into public radio work that took him to Ohio, Washington D.C., then back to North Carolina. He’s called Durham home for the past 24 years, living close to the Bull City neighborhood where he resided as a high school student. “It’s really rare in the U.S. to be from somewhere. It’s nice to be from somewhere,” said Reevy, as he ticked off what he loves about his Durham hometown—the vibrant music scene, the diversity, hiking at the Eno.

Durham’s also a close commute to IEI’s Centennial Campus headquarters, where Reevy works to expand IEI’s mission by working with stakeholders across North Carolina and beyond. It’s a mission he believes in deeply. “I’m concerned about the divisions in our society,” Reevy said. Be it the rural-urban divide, political divides, economic divides—all these things are intimately linked and I think N.C. is a microcosm of the division nationally. I like that IEI is doing something to connect these issues.”

Reevy’s NC State engineering and chemistry degrees will come in handy for his IEI work; as a one-person department, Reevy needs to be efficient. “Going through the engineering program at NC State certainly teaches you to be organized,” Reevy said. The organization skills also aid with event management, another skill set Reevy’s gained through his career and another he put to use soon after joining the IEI team. Shortly after his hire, Reevy was thrown into the mix of helping staff with IEI’s kidoNomiCs Forum. He calls IEI’s recurring Emerging Issues Forum “the premier public policy event in North Carolina and probably the Southeast.”

“The teamwork I saw, the organization I saw and the programming were all superlative,” Reevy said of the IEI team’s work during the kidoNomiCs Forum, held Feb. 5-6 in Raleigh.

And IEI is glad to welcome you to OUR team, Tony.