N.C. State Budget Director Charlie Perusse will retire Nov. 1 after serving in the role for Democratic Governors Mike Easley, Bev Perdue, and now Roy Cooper. Cooper announced on Monday that Perusse’s successor will be Deputy Budget Director Kristin Walker, who has served in her role since 2017.
“I am deeply grateful for Charlie’s years of service to our state,” said Cooper. “He worked tirelessly to help North Carolinians and was instrumental in helping craft fiscally responsible budget proposals that invest in education, healthcare, and the day-to-day needs of North Carolinians. I know that state finances are in capable hands with Kristin Walker, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to responsibly manage the state budget and taxpayer dollars.”
Perusse was an advocate for the governor’s spending priorities in the state legislature and worked with lawmakers on the budget through the recessions of the 2000s, the growth of the last decade, and the influx of federal dollars in the American Rescue Plan after COVID shutdowns. He also served on the committee that weighs and directs incentive awards intended for economic development in the state.
In 2021, Perusse received the “Thought Leader Award” from the Carolina Small Business Development Fund. The organization said the award recognized his “work in ensuring the small business ecosystem remains a priority for the state.” The organization highlighted his diligence in working to support entrepreneurs with recommendations included in Cooper’s budget to help small businesses survive and thrive.
Perusse also served as chief operating officer of the University of North Carolina System.
Prior to Walker joining the governor’s office, she worked in state budget development for 10 years in the N.C. General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division as principal fiscal analyst.