Cultivating Community Leaders

A group of Lead for North Carolina Fellows

A grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation will strengthen a program at the UNC School of Government that recruits, trains and places promising young leaders in paid local government fellowships.

Lead for North Carolina (LFNC) was launched in 2019 and aims to strengthen public institutions, support local communities and cultivate a new generation of public service leaders. The Z. Smith Reynolds renewed its support of LFNC in fall 2021 for its efforts to strengthen democracy—one of four priority areas of the Foundation’s State-Level Systemic Change Strategy.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes the quality of life of the people of North Carolina depends, in large part, on an informed and involved populace that is able to exercise its individual rights and come together for a common purpose,” said Maurice “Mo” Green, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Lead for North Carolina and the work it is doing to strengthen democracy by involving young people in ensuring that public institutions and processes are effective, transparent, accountable, accessible and inclusive.”

The foundation grant will help support 25 young leaders who are spending a year in communities across North Carolina, helping to advance key community development initiatives in their jurisdictions.

“We are grateful to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for their continued support of LFNC,” said Dylan Russell, LFNC executive director. “Their support is an investment in North Carolina’s young leaders, and it helps cultivate diversity in local governments.”

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