Brandy Bynum Dawson is the senior director of policy, research, and innovation at the NC Rural Center. In this role she provides oversight and management of the organization’s research and policy agendas, and innovative programs/initiatives, while cultivating partner relations and cross-programmatic, internal center-wide initiatives. She previously worked for five years as the associate director of Rural Forward NC at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation. In this role, she worked with the Director and program staff to manage, plan, organize, and direct daily capacity-building services of community initiatives in rural North Carolina. Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, she worked at NC Child for over twelve years, where she conducted research and data analysis, led policy campaigns, engaged elected officials, and facilitated numerous community-based projects.
Bynum Dawson has been active in the nonprofit community for more than 15 years as a professional, volunteer, and board member. She has experience providing community development services to agencies, communities, and coalitions in the areas of civic engagement, action planning, results-based facilitation, program implementation, and organizational collaboration. She has facilitated several long-term initiatives across a wide array of subject areas such as education, health, access to mental health and substance abuse services, and delinquency prevention. As a result of her efforts in rural northeastern North Carolina, her project received the Governor’s Crime Commission Award of Excellence in 2010.
She serves on various boards and committees, including NC Counts Coalition and the NC Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section. Throughout her career, Brandy has been the recipient of awards for her dedication, leadership and commitment to effecting change for North Carolinians. In 2016, she was named a Rural Health Fellow with the National Rural Health Association. In 2017 and 2018, she received two outstanding achievement awards from the NC Pediatric Society and National Juvenile Justice network in recognition of her decade plus commitment to raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina.
A native northeastern North Carolinian, she graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in sociology. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from NC State University, with a concentration in mental health policy. She enjoys spending her personal time with family and friends, especially when good food and fun are involved.