External Affairs
Georgia Southern University

About Us

Office of External Affairs

Annalee Ashley, Chief of Staff to the President

Annalee Ashley is Chief of Staff to the President and leads the Office of External Affairs. As Chief of Staff, she provides counsel to the President, drives strategic initiatives, and serves as liaison with external stakeholders and amongst divisions across the institution. In addition, she represents the President in engagements and on various committees and special task forces. Under Ms. Ashley’s leadership, the Office of External Affairs fosters connections to the programs, services and networks that support innovation and economic growth, both within and outside the University — and throughout the state and region — and advocates for the University at federal, state and local levels. The office also advises and educates faculty, staff and students on matters related to governmental policies and procedures, legislation, and diplomatic protocol. 

Ms. Ashley came to Georgia Southern in April 2019 after serving as Director of Strategic Communications for the University of West Georgia, where she led internal and external communication strategies, crisis communication protocols, and public and media relations activities for the institution. She previously held the position of Director for State and Federal Government Affairs for Georgia Southern University. Prior to her work within higher education, Annalee worked as a staffer on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and as a legislative intern for Senator Johnny Isakson. 

A certified protocol officer, Ms. Ashley is an alumna of the inaugural class of the Zell Miller Leadership Institute. She is a “Double Eagle” graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the Parker College of Business. 

Kendria Lee, Director for Economic Development & Community Relations

Kendria Lee is a “Double Eagle” graduate of Georgia Southern University earning both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems from the Parker College of Business. In her role, she oversees economic development for the university working closely with local and regional economic development officials to establish new and increased ways to align the strategic goals of the university with the initiatives of the University System Office. She also partners with city and county officials and key stakeholders throughout the region to build positive working relationships that have a direct impact on the local and neighboring counties. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lee held the position of Operations Manager and Executive Associate for Government and Community Relations – both for the Office of External Affairs. Most recently, Ms. Lee was selected as a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2020. Engaged in several community initiatives, Ms. Lee, an alumna of Leadership Southeast Georgia, is currently serving on its Board of Directors. She also serves on the board of the Statesboro YMCA and Junior Achievement of Savannah. In addition, she serves as a mentor in the REACH Georgia program. In 2019, she was named a member of Georgia Southern’s 40 under 40 and Statesboro-Bulloch County’s top 20 under 40. She is also a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Rural Prosperity Council. Ms. Lee is a certified Protocol Officer and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association.

Brian Harris, Director of Government Affairs

Brian Harris is the Director of Government Affairs for Georgia Southern University. Brian leads all efforts related to state legislative priorities and works hand in hand with our local delegation on all issues affecting Georgia Southern at the state level. Prior to joining the external affairs team at Georgia Southern, Brian worked in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget as the main point of contact for several regulatory agencies to help them develop their agency budgets for each fiscal year. He has worked on three statewide gubernatorial campaigns and has experience in grassroots organization, public policy, fundraising and community engagement. Brian is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and currently resides in Decatur with his wife, Caroline, and son, Finn. 

Kristin Boylston, Community Affairs Liaison

Kristin Boylston is the Community Affairs Liaison with the External Affairs Division, a role that utilizes her long-term community service and leadership in the region. She has been with the University since 2015. Previously, she was the project manager of the Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment program, where she led the community-wide initiative focused on creating a more educated workforce in Savannah-Chatham County. In this role, she served as liaison to area companies, agencies and schools to encourage degree completion, and she led the creation and implementation of the Near Peer Career and College Advising program in six of the Savannah Chatham County Public High Schools. Kristin also served as the director of development and communications for Telfair Museums, where she was responsible for strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of the development and communications plans. At the Telfair, she led a $1.2 million campaign to support major exhibitions and raised approximately $3.1 million annually from individuals, corporations, foundations, government and other sources. She secured additional funds through aggressive grant-writing programs, managed six major special events netting more than $500,000, and produced award-winning communications materials for the organization’s rebranding efforts. Over the years, she served as the director of corporate relations and marketing for the Savannah Economic Development Authority and as the dean of institutional advancement for the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she continued her own education with a focus on art history, arts administration and museum studies. In 2012, Savannah Technical College Foundation recognized Kristin as a Community Star for her work in the Savannah community. She is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and has served on the boards of American Red Cross, American Marketing Association, Tourism Leadership Council, Savannah Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Marketing Group, South Magazine, United Way and Visit Savannah.

Martha Kathryn Clance, Executive Assistant

Martha Kathryn Clance serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff and the Director for Economic Development and Community Relations at Georgia Southern University. In her role she supports the daily operations of the department. Ms. Clance is an alumna of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Retail Management. During her years at USC, Martha Kathryn was a member of the university’s dance team – the Carolina Coquettes. Originally from Beech Island, South Carolina, Ms. Clance now lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband, Chris and their dog, Charlie.


Marvin Pittman Administration Building
1770 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458

Last updated: 8/3/2020

External Affairs • P.O. Box 8033-2, Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912 478-5331