Michael Shaffer, Vice President of Government Relations and Community Affairs and Chief Advocacy Officer
Michael Shaffer joined the staff of Georgia Regents University in May 2012 as Vice President of Government Relations and Community Affairs and Chief Advocacy Officer. Previously, Mr. Shaffer was a Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Nathan Deal, serving as the top liaison to federal, state and local officials. He served as Deal's campaign consultant leading up to the 2010 election and previously worked for the late U.S. Rep Charlie Norwood (R-Ga) and U.S. Rep Paul Broun (R-Ga).
In his role as Vice President of Government Relations/Chief Advocacy Officer at GRU, he works closely with the Directors of Federal Relations, State Government Relations, and Community Affairs to advocate for legislation, regulation and policy that advances the tripartite missions of the enterprise. Mr. Shaffer also serves as the Interim Chief of Staff to President Ricardo Azziz.
Shaffer, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, lives in the Augusta area with wife, Nicki, and their son.
Monty Philpot, Director of Government Relations
Monty Philpot joined Georgia Regents University (GRU) in February of 2011. In this role, she will advance GRU's mission and initiatives statewide and nationally by expanding and enhancing engagement with Congress and federal agencies while supporting GRU faculty and staff.
In 1999, Monty began her career as a staff assistant in the Washington, D.C. office of her hometown Congressman, Charlie Norwood. In 2000, she began working as a Legislative Correspondent for then U.S. Representative Saxby Chambliss. In 2001, she was promoted to work as a Legislative Assistant and began working on healthcare policy.
In 2003, Chambliss was elected to the U.S. Senate and Monty was offered a Legislative Assistant position in his Senate office, where she continued to work on health and education policy in addition to homeland security, transportation, appropriations, immigration, and judiciary issues. In 2006, Philpot was promoted to be Senator Chambliss' Legislative Director and where she managed a staff of twelve and was responsible for implementing the Senator's entire legislative agenda. She served in this position for almost five years.
Philpot is an Augusta native with over 10 years of legislative experience in Washington, D.C. She has volunteered with the Senate Bipartisan Legislative Directors group and the Georgia State Society in D.C. She is a graduate of the Leadership Georgia class of 2008 and has volunteered with food banks in Augusta and Atlanta. Through her work with David's Hope International, she helped organize the delivery of over ten thousand pounds of food produced by Georgia farmers to orphans in Kenya.
Philpot, who earned a psychology degree from the University of Georgia, lives in Atlanta.
Margie M. Miller, Director of State Government Relations
Margie Coggins Miller joined the Georgia Regents University Government Relations team in January 2014, as Director of State Government Relations. She worked for the House of Representatives Budget and Research Office for 11 years, as Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst. During her years in the budget office, she worked with the Health Appropriations Committee, as well as advising on health care policy legislation.
Margie is a native of Monroe, Georgia, and attended the University of North Georgia where she attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics, with a Minor in Business Administration.
Margie is a member of Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, where she is a Deacon and teaches Mission Friends. She lives in Smyrna with her husband, Jeff.
Cedric J. Johnson, Director of Community Affairs
Cedric J. Johnson is Director of Community Affairs for GRU and works to build and maintain relationships with local governments, communities and organizations that house sites for the university. He joined GRU in August 2012.
Prior to coming to GRU, Cedric worked as a Senior Vice President/ Community Development Officer with First Bank of Georgia for 12 years. As a Community Development Officer he served as a liaison between the bank and state and local governments; neighborhoods and community organizations. Cedric graduated from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia with a B.A. in Business Administration.
Cedric serves as Chairman of the Augusta Richmond County Coliseum Authority and Augusta Partnership for Children, Inc. He served as Vice Chairman of the board for the Technical College System of Georgia. Cedric is a past Chairman of the Augusta Aviation Commission and Workforce Investment Board, where he still serves on both boards.
Karyn Nixon, Government Relations and Community Affairs Specialist
Karyn Nixon joined the staff of Georgia Regents University (GRU) on July 1, 2013. Previously, Ms. Nixon was the Executive Assistant for Mayor Deke Copenhaver, responsible for assisting the Mayor in the day to day operations of governing the second largest city in Georgia. Her duties included strategizing and executing the Mayor’s initiatives to achieve economic growth, effective social programs and public awareness. Before moving to Augusta from New York in 2002, Ms. Nixon worked developing financial collateral systems at Sullivan and Co. and marketing private banking services at Chase Manhattan Bank.
Ms. Nixon a graduate of the University of Georgia, lives in Augusta with her husband, John and her two children.