December 6, 2010 — Raymond Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association,will leave his position early next year to accept a joint appointment at the University of Virginia as a professor of practice of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and as a senior fellow for economic policy at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.
Scheppach has served as the association's executive director for 28 years. During his tenure, he has worked with more than 300 governors, two of whom became president and many of whom have become U.S. senators or Cabinet secretaries during the last four presidential administrations.
"We're extremely fortunate to have recruited Ray Scheppach to become one of the Batten School's first professors of practice," Batten School dean Harry Harding said. "As a state university, we have a deep commitment to training our students to become leaders in their states and communities, as well as at the national and global levels. And there is no one more knowledgeable about the issues facing the states than Ray Scheppach. Equally important, Ray's experience in the Congressional Budget Office makes him a respected voice in discussions of the fiscal problems facing all levels of government in the U.S."
Gerald L. Baliles, director of the Miller Center, said that with the critical importance of economic policy right now, Scheppach is the right person to help the center with economic-governance issues.
"I know this firsthand," he said. "I worked closely with Ray when I was governor of Virginia and especially when I was chair of the National Governors Association. We've stayed in close touch over the years, and I am delighted that Ray is bringing his vast experience to both the Miller Center, the Batten School and U.Va."
In June, the University's Board of Visitors approved the rank of "professor of practice," intended for "eminently qualified leaders who have made major impacts on fields and disciplines important to our academic programs" but do not have backgrounds in academia.
During Scheppach's time as executive director, the governors association was a key player on Capitol Hill on a range of issues, including spearheading a historic overhaul of the nation's welfare system; advocating for state fiscal relief; and various Medicaid reforms. Additionally, the association emerged as a national leader on education reform through several education summits and the most recent Common Core State Standards Initiative, which has been adopted by 41 states.
"If you care about public policy, this is the best job in America," said Scheppach, reflecting on his tenure at NGA. "Not only can you influence federal domestic policy by working with Congress and the administration, but you can work with individual governors on state policy in their home states, where states are clearly the laboratories of democracy. It has been an honor to have worked with the nation's governors.
"I am very excited about my new position at U.Va.," he continued. "The joint appointment will allow me to combine several of my passions – mentoring tomorrow's leaders and sharing the public policy insights I've gained over three decades at the NGA, as well as contributing to the Miller Center's uniquely thoughtful and influential public policy forums, especially those that address our nation's pressing economic challenges."
Before joining the association, Scheppach was first assistant director and then deputy director of the Congressional Budget Office, giving him an overview of a broad range of issues at the federal level. He also worked as an economist with the Standard Oil Company. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maine and a master's and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Connecticut.
At the Batten School, Scheppach will teach courses on the role of the states in public policy and on government budgeting.