Justice Center chief resigns

By Ret Boney

RALEIGH, N.C. — Rhonda Raney, executive director of the N.C. Justice Center, announced July 7 she will leave her post effective July 27.

Raney, who took the helm of the Raleigh-based group in July 2004, told her staff she “has decided to pursue other interests,” says Debra Tyler-Horton, the center’s deputy director.

Tyler-Horton, who has been with the center for 10 years, will serve as interim executive director while a national search is conducted, she says.

A search committee of the board has not been appointed yet, she says.

Raney, who is on vacation and could not be reached for comment, did not tell the staff what she plans to do after leaving the center, Tyler-Horton says.

The Justice Center is a statewide organization that works to reduce poverty through research, litigation, advocacy and grassroots education.

On joining the group two years ago, Raney said in an interview she hoped to raise the organization’s profile in the community and make the center as well-known as its component parts, which include the Budget and Tax Center and the N.C. Health Access Coalition.

But some close to the organization say such community outreach and promotion has yet to happen, and that the leadership transition is an opportunity to renew such efforts.

Before taking over the center, Raney served as assistant executive director of the N.C. Bar Association and before that was president and CEO of the N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations.

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