Hardin Watkins

Hardin Watkins

Hardin Watkins

Public Service Assistant; Governmental Training, Education, And Development



Hardin Watkins is a Public Service Assistant at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and is focused on local government education, training and leadership development.

His previous experience includes 32 years in local government leadership, including 23 years as a City Manager in Burlington, North Carolina, Garner, North Carolina, and Suwanee, Georgia. He also served 5 years as Assistant to the City Manager in Decatur, Georgia.

He is a credentialed manager recognized by the International City/County Management Association and completed the Institute of Government’s Management Development Program in 1996.

Hardin’s career accomplishments include the graceful navigation of the challenges of the pandemic in Burlington, an All-America City designation for Garner in 2013, and the Money Magazine “Top 10 Places to Live in the U.S.” designation for Suwanee in 2007.


M.P.A., UNC-Chapel Hill; B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill in Public Policy Analysis; Public Executive Leadership Academy, UNC School of Government

Additional Info:

Areas of Expertise: Local government operations, strategic planning, facilitation, public policy assessment, parks & recreation, emergency management, economic development, community involvement in policing, public engagement, emotional intelligence