Neal Robbins ‘01 admits he has always chosen the path that seemed the most rigorous. That path has taken him from work as a manufacturing engineer to a position with Governor Pat McCrory’s administration.
After graduating from NC State with a degree in chemical engineering, Robbins took a position with KoSa, a synthetic fibers business. Robbins worked as an engineer, specifically focused on the improvement of manufacturing efficiency and quality. In his second year at KoSa, Robbins decided to apply to Wake Forest University’s joint graduate program in law and business. During a semester studying law, Robbins knew he had found his calling.
After working with Carruthers & Roth, Robbins founded his own firm, Robbins Law. With a primary focus on finance and debt law, he has represented banks, corporations, small businesses, and community organizations.
“My favorite part of being an attorney is the ability to solve problems for people,” Robbins says. “While practicing law, I often focused on a result for an individual or company. I now focus on outcomes for our entire state.”
Soon after the November election, Robbins was offered a post as a policy analyst on Governor McCrory’s transition team. In this role, he was charged with gathering information for the executive branch of the state government on specific departments. Working in the public and private sectors to create policy documents for McCrory, Robbins was involved with reviewing the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), along with the state’s information and technology systems. Robbins now serves as director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for DENR.
“My role as director is to lead the department’s efforts in the North Carolina General Assembly and to be the liaison for the department with other agencies within state government, the federal government, other states, and local and municipal governments,” Robbins says.
Robbins, who said the opportunities presented to him as a Park Scholar opened doors and prepared him for his work in state government, now serves on the Park Advisory Committee and is helping to shape the future of the Park Scholarships program.