Wilson Paine

Program Analyst, Appalachian Regional Commission
Ferrum College, Class of 2007
Wilson Paine Headshot

​​I currently work in the Office of the Federal Co-Chair at the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development in the Appalachian region. Prior to ARC, I was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Department of State, where I worked on nuclear smuggling issues. I received my master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University, and my bachelor’s degree in history from Ferrum College.   ​

To say that Ferrum was life-changing would be an understatement. At its core, Ferrum represents the very best of what higher education is meant to be. A private, liberal arts college tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ferrum serves as an incubator for new ideas and offers its students opportunities to be at the doorstep of an ever-changing, global world –all accomplished under the principled tenet of teaching and learning. During my four years at Ferrum, I was able to study at Imperial College in London, Beijing Normal University in Beijing, and Southern African Wildlife College in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Ferrum also afforded me leadership opportunities and faculty accessibility that is unmatched at most institutions. These experiences not only shaped my academic and professional interests, but also challenged my beliefs, strengthened my curiosity, and forced me to re-examine my role in a global society. 
Ferrum created a liberating experience where ideas were challenged as well as created, and it did so by providing a re-imagined educational experience that equipped me not only with the resources to solve a problem, but with the analytical tools to recognize how the problem originated in the first place. I learned a lot during my time at Ferrum, and only part of that education came from the classroom.  

Wilson ​​Paine is currently employed by the Office of the Federal Co-Chair at the Appalachian Regional Commission and lives in Reston, Virginia. He was a Presidential Management Fellow working for FEMA and the Department of State before starting in his current position. He earned his BS in history from Ferrum College in 2007 and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University.