Deputy Secretary for Communications and External Affairs Beth Gargan

Beth Gargan was named Deputy Secretary for Communications and External Affairs for the N.C. Department of Commerce in July, 2018 following her service as an Assistant Secretary since rejoining the agency the previous year. In her current role, Beth directs the external and internal communications for the state’s largest economic development agency, and provides guidance and oversight to the department's legislative affairs work as well as the Labor & Economic Analysis Division (LEAD).

She brings more than 30 years of diverse government and corporate communications and public relations experience to the department, where she previously served as Communications Director as well as Public Relations Director for the Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

Before returning to Commerce, Beth was Chief of Staff and Assistant to the Vice Provost for the Office of Outreach & Engagement/Executive Director of Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) at NC State University. In her dual role, she was instrumental in strategic planning and establishing outreach & engagement partnerships across the state. For IES, Beth worked to promote the IES brand to various audiences and stakeholders, including the news media and potential customers, through public relations initiatives, social media, and other community engagement efforts. She also managed the North Carolina Awards for Excellence (NCAfE) program.

Beth has an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism/English from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.