NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Josh Smith, the chief communications officer for New Hanover County schools, will be taking over a new role in July.
Smith, who began working for the county schools in 2021, is filling the shoes of the county’s former chief communications officer Jessica Loeper. Loeper was promoted to assistant county manager in April.
“[Josh] brings vast experience in communications and familiarity with our community to the position,” county manager Chris Coudriet said in a press release.
Smith, originally from West Virginia and a Marine who served for two decades, graduated with a political science degree from Virginia Tech. He received his master’s from George Washington University in strategic public relations.
Before working for NHC schools, he was director of communications strategy for the 22nd Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune for nine years. He then took on the communications director at Marine Corps Headquarters in the Pentagon from 2019 until his retirement from the Corps in 2021.
“I am excited and humbled to have the chance to guide the amazingly talented Communications and Outreach team here at New Hanover County,” Smith said. “Getting to know the people who call this place home and understand our community the last few years has been tremendously rewarding, and I’m looking forward to continuing to serve our citizens in this new role.”
While working for the schools, Smith’s team garnered numerous awards, including Best of the Best honor for Excellence in Writing and an additional 29 Blue Ribbon Awards from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association last year.
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