University fills new local relations position

February 06, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State has appointed Margaret N. Gray to the newly created position of director of local government and community relations, where she will support and expand the University’s outreach efforts and regional partnerships, effective Feb. 2.

Gray, who has extensive experience working with local governments, businesses and constituencies, has most recently served as assistant director of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at Penn State, where she was director of policy and administration of Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being.

In the new position in Penn State’s Office of Governmental Affairs, Gray will work with the staff to expand on efforts to reach out to a wide range of groups including local government agencies and officials, community-based organizations and constituencies, and local businesses and associations both in the Centre Region and across the state. Gray will collaborate with other University offices to help coordinate and support ongoing initiatives, including serving as a resource to the Commonwealth Campuses.

“This new position was created with the goal of enhancing our current local relations efforts and of building upon the positive and constructive collaborations of recent years,” said Michael DiRaimo, vice president for Governmental Affairs. “It demonstrates Penn State’s continued and expanded commitment to the importance of town-gown relations.”

DiRaimo said that Penn State benchmarked how other institutions approach community relations and found that most major universities have similar outreach positions.

“Margaret’s experience working with a variety of stakeholders in her previous positions makes her a great fit for this position,” DiRaimo said. “She brings a deep understanding of how local organizations, governments and institutions can work together to benefit our communities.”

As director of policy and administration for the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being at Penn State, Gray handled outreach, education and communication initiatives and served as a liaison with social service agencies and national and state organizations.

Before working at Penn State, Gray held positions with both government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Among her previous appointments, she served as an area director for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services overseeing community services in the Middlesex West Area; director of government affairs for a Harrisburg-based law firm representing Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations before the Pennsylvania General Assembly and executive branch; and executive director of the Managed Care Association of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, where she was the organization’s primary contact with the state administration and General Assembly.

Gray has a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation education and a master’s of public administration, both from Penn State.

“I look forward to joining with University representatives who have forged strong and effective community relationships as we work collaboratively to enhance the University’s land-grant mission with our local partners,” Gray said.

In the new position at Penn State, Gray joins DiRaimo on the University’s Governmental Affairs team, which also includes:

-- Zack Moore, assistant vice president for Governmental Affairs;

-- Sheilah Borne, assistant vice president for governmental health relations;

-- Amanda Wintersteen, director of federal relations;

-- John Latini, associate director of federal relations.

  • Margaret Gray

    Margaret N. Gray started as director of local government and community relations, where she supports and expands on the University’s outreach efforts and regional partnerships, Feb. 2, 2015.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated February 09, 2015