Making Government Jobs Cool Again

When Morehead-Cain scholar Joe Nail ’18 was an undergraduate, he made a list of the 25 most significant challenges facing the world in the 21st century, ranging from rising sea levels to a widespread distrust in government.

He couldn’t solve them all. But he wasn’t content looking the other way.

“I spent months not doing anything social, just researching and looking at this list,” said Nail. “And I realized I could spend my whole life working on a couple of these problems, but none of them could be addressed in full without a functioning government.”

From that realization, Nail saw an opportunity to pair talented young people with opportunities to serve their communities. He joined forces with peers at Harvard and Stanford Universities to launch Lead for America, an organization that places recent graduates in local government positions across the country.

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The state pilot for Lead for America, called Lead for North Carolina, is housed at the School of Government and is one of the school’s strategic priorities in the Campaign for Carolina.

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