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Paul MontgomeryFor faculty and staff, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the waters of working with federal agencies, but UT Knoxville’s new director of external relations hopes to make the process easier.

Paul Montgomery, who took on the newly created role this month, will help build relationships with agencies in the executive branch of the federal government. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the federal government to the task.

"In working with faculty across campus, I’d like to help them build relationships and gain access to federal research opportunities that they might not have had otherwise," said Montgomery.

Montgomery has spent the majority of his career in various positions in the Pentagon with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, most recently serving as the chief of national programs. He also served as the deputy director for strategic arms control policy. In his new position, Montgomery will facilitate the involvement of UT Knoxville faculty, staff and administrators in shaping national policies of particular interest to the campus.

"We have a wealth of expertise on this campus in a variety of fields, and outstanding work is being conducted every day," said Montgomery. "I hope to facilitate connections with federal agencies that will further strengthen that work."

His return to UT Knoxville is a homecoming for Montgomery, who, while a D.C. native, was raised in Knoxville before attending the University of Notre Dame and Duke University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively. He is married to Francesca Follone, a native of Florence, Italy, and they have one child, Anthony William, age 3.