The Hunt Institute Announces Hiring of Chief of Staff, Position to Support the Strategic Vision of Policy and Program Teams

April 4, 2022

Cary, NC. – The Hunt Institute is pleased to announce the hiring of Minda Watkins as The Institute’s Chief of Staff. In this role, Watkins will support the implementation of the strategic vision for The Institute’s team of policy and program directors; oversee a portfolio of programs and services; continue to raise The Institute’s profile through external communications and partnerships; and ensure all programs are innovative and impactful.


“We are delighted to welcome Minda to our team,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “The hiring of a Chief of Staff is an important step in The Hunt Institute’s strategic growth, and Minda has the ideal combination of experience, passion, and commitment to the field of education. I am confident in Minda’s leadership and excited to work with her as we continue to empower educators and policymakers to drive equitable reforms and become audacious champions for education.”


Minda most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Secretary to the University at Fayetteville State University where she was responsible for leading a team of professionals who manage the operations of the Chancellor’s office, while providing oversight for the protocols and procedures within the leadership team. Additionally, she managed a team of staffers and served as a liaison with the Board of Trustees.


Previously, Minda served as special assistant to the President of the UNC System and where she managed the Office of the President. She was successful in reorganizing the direct report structure to create positions for easier workflow, revamped the front office structure to allow for assistance within the departments to cut down on costs of new hires, worked with direct reports on professional development which led to placing temporary employees into permanent positions and the promotion of six of her direct reports. Minda successfully served as a special assistant for three UNC System Presidents.


“I am excited to begin my work at The Hunt Institute,” said Minda. “It truly is a privilege to join the incredible team that is The Hunt Institute.  I look forward to working with the President, the Board of Directors and the leadership team to support building and influencing leadership to mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success across the nation.”



About The Hunt Institute

An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since its establishment in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership, and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit:

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