Ferrel Guillory

Ferrel Guillory founded the  Program on Public Life (formerly the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life) in 1997 to build bridges between the academic resources at UNC-Chapel Hill and the governmental, journalism and civic leaders of North Carolina and the South. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Policy.

In addition, Guillory is a senior fellow at MDC Inc., a workforce and economic development nonprofit research firm in Chapel Hill. Through MDC, he has co-authored The State of the South, a series of biennial reports to the region and its leadership (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007).  He also co-authored the book, The Carolinas: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: An Exploration of Social and Economic Trends, 1924-1999 (Duke Press, 1999), commissioned by the Duke Endowment.

Gov. Mike Easley appointed Guillory to the North Carolina Education First Task Force and to the Council on the Southern Community of the Southern Growth Policies Board. In addition, he served on the steering committee of the Rural Prosperity Task Force, appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt and chaired by Erskine Bowles. For the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, he wrote the paper, “Education Governors for the 21st Century.’’ In 2000, Guillory taught at Davidson College as the James K. Batten Professor of Public Policy.

Before working in academia, Guillory spent more than 20 years as a reporter, editorial page editor and columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. He has had free-lance articles published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The New Republic, America, Commonweal, Southern Cultures and The Atlanta Constitution.  Guillory has contributed chapters to books on David Duke and the politics of race, on economic transition in tobacco regions and on North Carolina politics and government. He was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007.