Emory names vice president for government affairs

Aug. 6, 2013

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Charles (Charlie) Harman

Charles (Charlie) Harman, former chief of staff for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), has been named vice president for government and community affairs at Emory University. Effective Aug. 5, Harman assumed his position as the chief government affairs officer for the university, including Emory Healthcare.  

"Charlie Harman is an experienced leader with a deep understanding of government at the state and federal levels as well as extensive knowledge of the health care field. He is just what Emory needs," says Emory President James Wagner.  

Harman, who has served Georgia senators from both political parties, became Chambliss' chief of staff in 2007. For the past four years he also has served as co-chair of the Senate Bi-Partisan Chiefs of Staff group, which aims to foster mutual trust and friendship among the chiefs from both parties.  

"Charlie has been an invaluable member of my team for six successful years, and his dedication and enthusiasm for my office will be missed," says Chambliss. "Emory University will benefit greatly from Charlie's understanding of government at the federal, state and local levels. I congratulate Charlie and wish him well in his new position." 

Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) says, "Having worked side-by-side with Charlie for years in the Senate, I am delighted that he is joining the Emory family. In the more than 30 years that I have known Charlie, I've observed up close his incredible energy, enthusiasm, good judgment and unquestionable integrity. With Emory's solid foundation of academic excellence and leadership, as an alumnus, I am confident that the Emory/Harman team will be a winning combination." 

Harman says, "I grew up in Atlanta hearing about this distinguished university, its health services, and what Emory meant to Atlanta and the South. I am both humbled and honored to now have the opportunity to serve this leading academic institution and prestigious health center for care and research." 

An Atlanta native and graduate of the University of Georgia, Harman first worked in the U.S. Senate as a summer intern in the office of Sen. Richard B. Russell. He returned to Washington in the 1980s as a staff member for Nunn, serving as his chief of staff from 1987-92.  

From 1992-96, Harman served as president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, representing the state's businesses in government affairs and economic development. In 1996, he became vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc., and led the organization's public affairs effort for its merger with WellPoint Health Networks in 2001, and its merger in 2004 with Anthem Inc., to become WellPoint Inc.  

After the death of Sen. Paul Coverdell in 2000, Harman took a three-month leave of absence from Blue Cross to establish and organize the Georgia and Washington offices of Sen. Zell Miller, who was appointed to fill Coverdell's unexpired term.  

At WellPoint, Harman was responsible for leading the company's state government affairs efforts in the company's six eastern states (Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Georgia), and for developing health care policy in coordination with state and federal governments and other stakeholders.