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WGU External Affairs

Leading education and workforce innovation across the country

WGU External Affairs wants to help your state achieve its education and workforce goals.

Our team will work with you to establish a partnership that not only resonates with the students we are currently serving in your state, but provide additional opportunities for those who are not yet aware of WGU or the quality of education that we provide.

Find your state government relations director below and start the conversation about where WGU can make a difference in your state.

Chris Bonnell

Vice President of External Relations

About Chris

Chris Bonnell serves as the Vice President of External Relations for Western Governors University. Chris has decades of experience in higher education external relations with a focus on state and local legislative affairs. Chris is an established public policy leader in the fields of competency-based education and psychology, with a focus on issues of mental health and providing solutions/services. He is also passionate about philanthropic leadership and work that ensures the needs of the community are met in a thoughtful, solution-based manner. Chris holds a law degree from Hamline University School of Law and is a graduate of Concordia College. In his personal life, Chris is passionate about hockey and a board member of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation, an annual award given to the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s ice hockey player.

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Paul Mero

Director of External Affairs

About Paul

Paul Mero is a director of Western Governor’s University (WGU) External Affairs team. In this role he works to increase access to affordable, quality education for working adults in collaboration with policymakers and allies. Paul has a four-decade career in politics, public policy, and nonprofit institutions. He began his career with the United States House of Representatives, beginning as a press secretary and finishing his ten-year service as a chief of staff. Paul then merged his nonprofit organization, Projects for America, with the newly established Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society located in Rockford, Illinois, where he served as executive vice-president, before moving on to become long-time president of Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, a nonprofit state-based think tank. He then founded Next Generation Freedom Fund focusing on intergenerational poverty solutions in Utah. Throughout his career, Paul has authored several books, numerous national op-eds and academic journal articles, and delivered too many public speeches. Paul joined WGU in April 2019. He has B.A in Public Policy from Brigham Young University and an M.S. in Management and Leadership from WGU. Paul and his wife, Sally, have been married 46 years, they have six children and 21 grandchildren.

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