Ember Bishop Bentley, Former Georgia First Lady Chief of Staff, Joins MGA as Chief of Staff and Government Relations Officer

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 12:00 AM
Categories: Pressroom | Faculty/Staff

Macon, GA

Ember Bishop Bentley
Ember Bishop Bentley, currently executive director of the Georgia Forestry Foundation and former chief of staff for Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, is joining Middle Georgia State University as chief of staff and government relations officer.

Bentley, who lives in Macon, will begin her new job on September 4, 2018.

"We are delighted to have someone of Ember Bishop Bentley's status and experience join us at Middle Georgia State," said Dr. Christopher Blake, the University's president. "Effectively working with state lawmakers and creating and sustaining partnerships with public and private organizations at the state and regional levels are vital to the success of any university. Ms. Bentley is a proven leader in those realms. I am confident her work and leadership will play a critical role in elevating Middle Georgia State in multiple ways over the next few years."

Bentley holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in management from Shorter College. She is also a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

Her professional experience includes serving as deputy commissioner for international relations for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. From 2011 to 2015, she was chief of staff to Georgia's First Lady, Sandra Deal, a post based in the governor's office.

She also has sales, marketing and media producing experience. In the mid-2000s she served as executive assistant to then-Congressman Nathan Deal, currently Georgia's governor.

Bentley sits on the boards of the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission and the Academy for Classical Education in Macon, where she lives with her family. She is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Council and the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association. Bentley is a graduate of Leadership Georgia. In 2017, Gov. Deal appointed her to the board of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

At Middle Georgia State, the chief of staff and government relations officer will be a key member of the president's leadership team and will report directly to him. Bentley will work closely with Blake and University System of Georgia staff to review proposed policy initiatives and legislation and will advocate for Middle Georgia State and the USG to lawmakers.

Other duties of the chief of staff and government relations officer are to serve as the lead staff member in the president's office. Bentley will be the primary liaison for the University to help develop partnerships with state and federal government entities, participate in institutional planning and problem-solving, and coordinate regular and special projects on behalf of the president, frequently involving senior officers of the University.

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) serves about 7,700 students on campuses in Macon, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, and Warner Robins. Students can choose from dozens of programs - including business, nursing, information technology, new media and communications, and contemporary musicianship - that lead to bachelor’s degrees. MGA also offers professional master’s degrees in cybersecurity, nursing, management, and secondary education, with other graduate programs under development. The University is home to Georgia’s only public School of Aviation - based on the Eastman campus - and a four-year degree in flight. mga.edu