- Spring 2013
Governor Beverly Perdue served the citizens of North Carolina for more than 25 years when her term as Governor ended in January, 2013. In her role as the State’s 73rd chief executive officer, she managed a budget of more than $51 billion, some 275,000 State employees, and was responsible for the welfare of 9.6 million citizens. Having been elected Governor in 2009, she earlier served as Lieutenant Governor (2001 to 2009), as a State Senator (1991 to 2000), including eight years as President of the Senate, and as a member of the State’s House of Representatives (1987 to 1991). Her earlier career included 12 years as a gerontologist and senior leadership roles with various health care and human services organizations in North Carolina, and five years as a public school teacher in Florida and Georgia.
Perdue has earned a reputation as an innovative, disciplined and transformative chief executive officer and steward of North Carolina’s resources, balancing the best interests of both the public and private sectors, often through public/private partnerships, locally, nationally and globally (offices in China, Japan and the EU). Facing a budget shortfall of 11% when she took office, Governor Perdue consolidated 13 State agencies into eight, prioritized and reduced spending, and invested heavily in education, technology and transportation infrastructure in the State, all while seeking to attract employers and investment to the State. North Carolina is ranked among the top ten states for job creation since 2008, having created more than 100,000 new jobs in the past four years, while nearly $22.5 billion of investment has been committed. Exports grew by 8.3% in 2011.
The State has become a recognized leader in the fields of education, research and development, defense and aerospace, information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, “green” technology and energy, and heavy manufacturing. It has also attracted considerable television and movie production. This has all been accomplished while balancing the State’s budget every year, creating a $200 million reserve fund, and fully funding the State’s employee retirement system. North Carolina is one of only eight states to maintain an AAA rating over the past four years.
Dr. Perdue became the first female elected Lieutenant Governor in 2002, an office she held until her election as Governor in 2009. In a role that has traditionally held little statutory responsibility and had even less impact, Lieutenant Governor Perdue led the State’s effort to increase and enhance its military presence in the face of substantial pressure from the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to do the opposite. The result was a substantially increased military presence in North Carolina, including the US Army Forces Command and Headquarters for the US Army Reserve Command. North Carolina’s military economy grew from $17.5 billion in 2004 to more than $23.0 billion in 2012, and it is projected to be $27.0 billion in 2013. Lieutenant Governor Perdue launched the North Carolina Military Foundation following BRAC to attract 21st century defense, aerospace and homeland security jobs to the State. During this same period, Dr. Perdue chaired the North Carolina Health & Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF), the private-public partnership that oversees the State’s portion of the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry. Under her leadership, HWTF negotiated a multi-million dollar partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to tackle childhood obesity, as well as launching the first ever multi-media campaign to reduce teen smoking resulting in 53,000 fewer teens smoking in North Carolina since 2003. Lieutenant Governor Perdue also led the creation of Senior Care, a State prescription drug program recognized by the AARP as the best prescription drug program for seniors in the US. As Lieutenant Governor, working with public/private partnerships, Dr. Perdue established North Carolina’s first virtual public school with leading technology companies in the state as well as a green business fund to seed innovation in emerging green companies. Dr. Perdue entered public life with her election to the House of Representatives from the 3rd District (Craven County) in 1987. She was elected to the State Senate in 1991 and served for nine years.
She served as Co-Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1995 to 2000, where she negotiated and prioritized spending for an $18 billion budget at the time. Senator Perdue served as the leader for tax policy and financial legislation in the Senate, as well as leading on issues related to education. Prior to elected office, Dr. Perdue served as Director of Geriatric Services for Carolina East Medical Center, where she conceived and led an award-winning model of coordinated patient care from hospital admission to community placement within this leading public facility for three years. Earlier she was a Health Care Policy and Grant Writer for East Carolina Regional Medical Center, where she conceived, developed and wrote award-winning grant proposals to various foundations, including a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as a model of coordinated health care for the frail, disabled and elderly who would otherwise have been institutionalized in long-term care facilities. Dr. Perdue coordinated an integrated team of professionals, volunteers and families, serving more than 1,000 patients over a three-year period. She earlier served as Director of Human Resources for Neuse River Council of Governments, where she led a variety of human resources initiatives funded by the Federal and State governments for a 10-county multi-regional planning commission. Dr. Perdue began her career as a public school teacher in Florida and Georgia.
Her academic background includes a PhD in Educational Administration and a Masters of Education degree in College Administration from the University of Florida, as well as a BA degree in History from the University of Kentucky. Governor Perdue and her husband reside in New Bern, North Carolina.