Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute is being renamed to better communicate its mission under new leadership, according to Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. Effective Dec. 1, the Public Service and Outreach unit’s name will be restored to the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Matt Bishop, currently with UGA’s Archway Partnership, will become the institute’s new director. Fanning’s mission will focus on leadership development and specifically developing leaders who can implement sustainable solutions to community challenges.
Frum announced the realignment of the Fanning Institute’s mission and Bishop’s appointment at a Leadership Georgia board meeting in Athens on Nov. 8. The restoration of Leadership Development to the organization’s name signals a renewal of the Fanning Institute’s focus as the namesake of J.W. Fanning, UGA’s first vice president for services and founder of Leadership Georgia, according to Frum.
“Clearly identifying Fanning as the go-to place for leadership education, training and development will strengthen its contributions to the state and complement the missions and expertise of our seven other Public Service and Outreach units,” said Frum.
“We are excited about the potential,” Frum continued. “Nothing is more important than helping grow strong leaders for Georgia. On campus, UGA prepares our future leaders. PSO programs like those of Fanning help today’s leaders be stronger and more effective as they seek to improve their communities.”
As the new director of the organization, Bishop will guide development of new goals and refocused programming to accomplish its mission. Bishop is currently a public service associate and coordinator of operations for the Archway Partnership. His 10-year career with UGA includes serving as faculty with the Fanning Institute and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and faculty coordinator for UGA’s Initiative on Poverty and the Economy. In addition, his public service career has included serving as associate director of the Governor’s Rural Development Council and regional resource coordinator for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. He also served as a budget analyst for the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.
“Matt’s career has provided him with opportunities to meet with key leaders throughout the state about their community’s needs and to effectively build partnerships on and off campus that support the best outcomes for communities,” said Frum. “He will bring a strong combination of broad professional experience and connections in Georgia and an outstanding UGA career to provide direction for Fanning’s transition to its renewed focus on leadership.
“We are fortunate to have someone like Matt, with his demonstrated commitment to public service and his strong, creative leadership and management abilities stand out in a national search as the ideal person to take the helm of Fanning at this strategic time and guide it into a new era of even greater accomplishment,” said Frum.
In addition to his professional experience, Bishop has been highly active in Leadership Georgia since 2008 when he and his wife Natalie were members of that year’s class. They were chosen to be program chairs in 2009, and he is currently serving a three-year term as a trustee on Leadership Georgia’s board. He holds a master of public administration and a doctor of philosophy in public administration and policy from UGA.
As part of the refocusing of the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development’s mission, faculty lines related to government and economic development will be realigned to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Small Business Development Center. “I am confident these changes will allow all PSO units to better respond to the needs of the state,” said Frum.