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Mitchell to lead Rural Economic Development Division

September 13, 2013

North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker announced today that Dr. Patricia Mitchell will become the Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development.


Mitchell will oversee the newly created Rural Economic Development Division, which includes three programs being transferred from the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center.


These programs will provide assistance for building reuse and restoration, water and sewer infrastructure, and economic innovation in rural communities. The Division of Community Assistance, NC Broadband, Main Street and the Appalachian Regional Commission will also be consolidated into the new rural division.


“Pat has the ideal combination of professional experience, policy expertise and passion for rural North Carolina that we need to lead this new division,” said Secretary Decker. “As a former county school board member, university professor and instructor, she also understands the important connection between education and economic development.”


Mitchell is an adjunct faculty member at Appalachian State University, Nova Southeastern University and N.C. State University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in public administration, grant management and economic development policy.


She served as the County Manager and Director of Economic Development for Ashe County. In addition, Mitchell is an instructor at the N.C. Rural Center Rural Economic Development Institute and the UNC School of Government.


Mitchell served on the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013. She was also a member of the five-person committee that worked to transition three N.C. Rural Center grant programs to the N.C. Department of Commerce, as outlined in the state budget.


She currently serves in leadership roles on the N.C. Economic Developers Association Board of Directors and Local Developers Advisory Council for the Advantage West Regional Economic Development Group.