The Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy was established in 2001 by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in honor of the retirement of Thomas Willis Lambeth, who served as executive director of the foundation. The foundation’s gift of $667,000 was matched with $333,000 from the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund to bring the endowment to $1 million.

A native of Clayton, N.C., Lambeth graduated from UNC in 1957. After stints in the Army, as a journalist with the Winston-Salem State Journal and as a member of N.C. Governor Terry Sanford’s staff, Lambeth worked as administrative assistant to Congressman Richardson Preyer from 1969-1978. He joined the Richardson Foundation of Greensboro in 1965. Thirteen years later, he became executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, a position he held until his retirement in December 2000. During his tenure, the foundation awarded grants totaling more than $260 million to assist community economic development, the environment, pre-collegiate education, and minority and women’s issues, including nearly 400 grants exceeding $27 million to benefit campuses of the UNC system and affiliates such as UNC-TV and the UNC Press. Since his retirement, Lambeth has continued to serve the foundation as a senior fellow.

Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation noted Lambeth’s devotion and record of service to UNC, where he served as chair of the board of trustees, president of the alumni association and board member for numerous University and school committees. The professorship was chosen “as an appropriate way to honor him and express appreciation and respect for his leadership.”

Income paid from the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy is used to establish an endowed chair to attract or retain a distinguished teacher and scholar in the area of public policy in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the Kenan-Flagler Business School, the School of Social Work or the School of Government.

The Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy Recipients:

2013 – 2018: Daniel P. Gitterman
2004-2009: Richard N. Andrews