Governor names new leadership in various state government roles

November 24, 2014

Deal appoints individuals to serve in public safety, education, family services and community affairs

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced appointments to positions of leadership in various state government roles.

Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth will become the director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) effective in January. Butterworth will replace Charley English, who will assume the position of deputy director of GEMA. The governor has also tapped Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, current assistant adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense, to serve as the adjutant general of Georgia effective in January.

Camila Knowles, current chief of staff for U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, has been nominated, pending board approval, to be the commissioner for the Department of Community Affairs effective in January. Knowles is replacing Gretchen Corbin, who has been nominated by Deal, pending board approval, as the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) effective upon Commissioner Ron Jackson’s retirement in January. Matt Arthur, current director for education reform for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, will serve as deputy commissioner of TCSG. Dr. Susan Andrews, current deputy superintendent of Race to the Top at the Georgia Department of Education, has been tapped to replace Arthur.

Deal also nominated Tricia Chastain, current associate vice-president for government relations for the University of Georgia, pending board approval, as president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). Chastain will replace Tracy Ireland, who has taken a position with the University System of Georgia as vice-chancellor of student enrollment services effective in January. Toby Carr, current planning director of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), will replace Chastain at the University of Georgia as the associate vice-president for government relations and director of state government relations. Corinna Robinson, current Disability Services Ombudsman and Olmstead Coordinator for Deal, has been appointed to be the executive director of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission. Robinson is replacing Bill Crews, who will be retiring on December 31.

Christopher Tomlinson, current executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) has been nominated by Deal, pending board approval, to serve as the executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority in addition to his duties at SRTA. Russell McMurry, presently serving as chief engineer at GDOT, has been appointed as planning director of GDOT subject to approval by a majority vote of both the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee.

Amy Jacobs, interim director of the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), and Bobby Cagle, interim director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), will remain in their positions full-time effective immediately. To streamline the review process and efficiently evaluate recommendations, DFCS will continue to report directly to the Governor’s Office.

“Each of these high caliber individuals has contributed their expertise and counsel in order to make Georgia a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Deal. “As they assume their new positions and responsibilities, I’m confident that they will continue to serve our state well. I cannot thank them enough for service and dedication to Georgia and its citizens.”

Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth

Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth was appointed by Gov. Deal as the adjutant general of Georgia in 2011. His military service has included assignments at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., as a T-38 pilot instructor; service at Dover AFB, Del., as a C-5 pilot; and service in Georgia’s own 116th Bomb Wing as a B-1B aircraft commander and flight lead. Prior to his appointment as the adjutant general, Butterworth served as a state senator representing the 50th District in Northeast Georgia. During his time in the Senate, he served as the chairman of both the Higher Education Committee and the state and local Governmental Operations committee, as vice chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and several others. He also served as an administration floor leader in the Georgia Senate for Gov. Deal and as chairman of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners. In addition to an extensive public service record, he has flown as a pilot for Delta Air Lines and has accumulated more than 11,000 hours of flying time between his military, commercial and civilian flying careers. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Georgia and graduated with a bachelor degree in political science. Gen. Butterworth and his family attend Riverbend Baptist Church in Gainesville. He and his wife, Amy, have four children.

Charley English

Charley English was appointed director of GEMA/Homeland Security in February 2006 after serving in the agency since 1996. He began his career in public service as a local police officer in 1980. He currently serves as the past-president of the National Emergency Management Association, the chair of the Governor’s Commission on 9-1-1 Modernization and state point of contact for the FirstNet Public Safety Broadband Network. He earned a master’s degree in Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval Postgraduate School and a bachelor’s degree in Public and Urban Affairs from Georgia State University.

Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard

Brig. Gen. Jarrard has served as the assistant adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense since 2011. Before assuming this position, he worked in Afghanistan from August 2009 to September 2011, most recently with the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team. Before retiring in 2009, he served on active duty for more than 20 years and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as the deputy brigade commander of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne), where he served as the deputy effects coordinator and chief of assessments for the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT). He previously deployed in 2003 as the Battalion Executive Officer of 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where his unit supported I Marine Expeditionary Force. He served at numerous duty stations to include Germany; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Riley, Ks.; and Fort Bragg, N.C. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w/OLC, and Meritorious Service Medal w/OLC. Gen. Jarrard graduated from North Georgia College and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1988. He and his wife, Susan, have three sons and reside in Dahlonega.

Camila Knowles

Camila Knowles is the chief of staff for U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, where she has served since 2013. She has worked in Senator Chambliss’ office in Washington, D.C. and Georgia since 2003 and prior to her appointment to chief of staff, Knowles served as the state director and general counsel. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in History and holds a law degree from Georgetown University. Knowles is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is an active member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Sean, have three children and reside in Atlanta.

Gretchen Corbin

Corbin has served as the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs since 2013. Previously she served as deputy commissioner for Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where she had worked since 1998 in a wide variety of roles. She is involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, including serving as the chairman of Leadership Georgia and as a member of the board of visitors for the University of Georgia. Corbin is also a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Corbin graduated from Clemson University and the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. She and her husband, David, have two children and reside in Rome.

Matt Arthur

Matt Arthur currently serves as the director of education reform for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. During his career, Arthur has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, career and technical education director, high school principal and administrator, having served as superintendent of the Rabun County School System for 13 years. Arthur is president-elect of the Georgia School Superintendents Association. He serves on the Southern Regional Education Board, Pre-Kindergarten Focus Committee, Georgia Education Workers’ Compensation Trust Board of Directors, Rabun County Development Authority and the Rabun County Board of Health. He previously served on the Gov. Deal’s Education Advisory Board, Gov. Perdue’s Child Abuse Advisory Council, First Lady Deal's Children's Cabinet and the State School Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Arthur is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Margie Arthur, have two daughters.

Susan Andrews

Dr. Susan Andrews currently serves as deputy superintendent of Race to the Top at the Georgia Department of Education. Andrews has previously served as a practitioner in the K-12 public education system as teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. She was the superintendent of the Harris County School District for nine years and also served for more than three years as superintendent of the Muscogee County School System. Andrews is a past-president of the Georgia School Superintendents Association. She previously was a member of the board of directors for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and has represented Georgia superintendents on the national Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. She is also a former member of the board of directors for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Andrews was an early advocate of the educational initiatives outlined in the scope of work of Race to the Top, serving on advisory panels and leading Muscogee County School District to become one of the 26 participating partner districts. She is a credentialed trainer for the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System and the Leader Keys Effectiveness System. In 2007, Andrews was named Georgia’s Superintendent of the Year, as well as one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year. She has been profiled in various professional educational journals and is active in her community.

Tricia Chastain

Chastain serves as the associate vice-president for government relations at the University of Georgia. Prior to this position, Chastain worked in the office of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson for 11 years, who she began working for while he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Chastain held a variety of positions for Senator Isakson, including senior legislative aide, press secretary and state director. She graduated with a bachelor’s of arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She has two children and resides in Roswell. 

Tracy Ireland

Ireland has served as president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) since May 2013, having served as interim president since March 2013. He joined GSFC in 2001 and has served in a variety of leadership roles in the areas of operations, postsecondary school outreach, legislative affairs and media relations. Prior to joining GSFC, he worked for College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a private, non-profit student loan provider in Raleigh, North Carolina. While with CFI, he held a variety of positions including Director of North Carolina’s National College Savings Program. He began his career in higher education finance in 1994 as a customer service representative in Jacksonville, Florida with Intuition, Inc. He serves on the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan Board, Mapping Your Future Board and the Great Promise Partnership Board. He is currently a member of a number of industry associations including: the Georgia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (GASFAA), the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) and the Education Finance Council (EFC). He and his wife, Judy, have two sons and reside in Cumming.

Toby Carr

Carr was appointed director of planning of the Georgia Department of Transportation by Gov. Deal in 2012. Carr previously served as Deal’s transportation policy adviser and liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He served as the executive director of Deal’s Gubernatorial Transition Committee, executive director of the Georgia Republican Party and as an aide to House Majority Whip Jan Jones in the Georgia General Assembly. Other positions include House Republican Caucus Campaign Coordinator for the Georgia Republican Party in 2008 and political consultant with CapitalSouth. Carr also worked in construction sales and project management after graduating from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in both Finance and Agricultural Engineering. He and his wife, Kellen, have one daughter and reside in Brookhaven.

Corinna Robinson 

Robinson has served as Gov. Deal’s Disability Services Ombudsman and Olmstead Coordinator since June 2011. Robinson chairs the Olmstead Planning Committee, serves as secretary on the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council and its Executive Committee and is a member of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission board of directors and the First Lady’s Georgia Children’s Cabinet. She co-chairs the Health Committee of the U.S. Ombudsman Association. Previously, she worked in the office of Gov. Sonny Perdue, for the Republican Governors Association and at the state Department of Community Affairs. Robinson is a graduate of Valdosta State University. She and her husband, Brian, live in Atlanta. 

Christopher Tomlinson

Tomlinson serves as the executive director for the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), Georgia’s toll operator and transportation bond financing authority. He also serves as the agency’s primary liaison to Georgia Department of Transportation’s P3 program and is a member of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) board of directors. Prior to being appointed executive director, Tomlinson served as deputy executive director and general counsel for SRTA. Prior to joining SRTA, Tomlinson served as general counsel for several agencies, including the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Technology Authority and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, where he also served as the deputy director for the construction division. He graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and holds a juris doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife, Lillian, have two children and reside in Loganville.

Russell McMurry

McMurry has served as the chief engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) since 2013. He previously served as the director of engineering for DOT. Before assuming that position, McMurry spent five years as the district engineer for GDOT in northeast Georgia as well as holding several other positions in that region and on GDOT’s general office staff since joining the department in 1991. McMurry is a cum laude graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering Technology.

Amy Jacobs

Jacobs was appointed interim director of the Department of Early Care and Learning in June 2014. Before her appointment, she served as the senior policy adviser for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. She joined OPB in 2001 in the planning, research and evaluation division where her work focused on strategic planning and program evaluation. She also served as director of the Education Division and the General Government Division at OPB. Before that, she worked for two years in the Georgia Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Governor’s Innovation Fund Advisory Board that supports planning, implementing and scaling innovative education programs that advance student achievement throughout Georgia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She and her husband, John, are members of Northside United Methodist Church. They have two children and reside in Mableton.

Bobby Cagle

Cagle was appointed as interim director of the Division of Family and Children Services in June 2014. He previously served as commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. He served as the director of legislative and external affairs for the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. He also served as the family services director for DFCS and was responsible for statewide policy and program development in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence, sexual assault and provider contracting. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Child Care Administrators (NASCCA) and the National Advisory Board of the Center on Enhancing Learning Outcomes. Cagle earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.