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Pearse Edwards

Pearse Edwards, Senior Director, External Relations | Leadership Team

Senior Director of External Relations

Policy and External Relations Leader

Pearse brings 30 years of experience in public policy and external affairs from the private and public sectors. He has developed a diverse and effective policy portfolio serving in senior roles for three state Governors: Locke (WA), Gregoire (WA), and Perdue (NC). For the private sector, Pearse worked in corporate citizenship at Microsoft and for national public affairs and strategic communications firms. In the 1990s, he helped implement privatization of state-owned enterprises in the Russian Federation while working for the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank.

Broad Skills Set

Pearse’s work includes wide-ranging experience in public affairs, government relations, issues and policy management, community outreach, media relations, and crisis communications. He is a cool head in times of crisis and strives to manage difficult issues and negotiations with care, intelligence, and purpose.

Perspectives on Growth and Governance  

Pearse’s experience in Washington, North Carolina, and Russia give him a rich perspective on complex policy issues. Pearse was initially hired at the Port as Government Relations Director, with oversight and execution of the Port’s legislative and policy priorities at the local, regional, state, and federal levels of government. Promoted to Senior Director of External Relations in 2018, Pearse reports to both the Executive Director and the Commission President. In this role, he is responsible for shaping and directing strategies for Communications, Government Relations, Community Engagement, and Regional Transportation on behalf of the Port.

Education and Recognition

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Appalachian State University, History
  • Leadership NC Graduate
  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine (NC)
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