Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace
Napoleon Wallace serves as the Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Solutions at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. In this role, he manages the Department’s support for North Carolina’s rural communities, leading a team of specialists that help communities make the necessary preparations and infrastructure investments to attract business and spur economic growth. He also directs the Department's efforts to strengthen the state's workforce programs and streamline the delivery of services to both jobseekers and employers.
With more than 15 years of experience in finance and community economic development, Napoleon has served in various roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career. Prior to his current role, he served as the Social Investment Officer at the Kresge Foundation, focusing on making program - and mission - related investments into health and human services areas.
Earlier in his career, Napoleon served on the executive staff at Self-Help, where he managed several community and economic development initiatives, including small-business lending, financial institution turnarounds, mergers, portfolio acquisitions, community development real estate projects, and retail strategy. Napoleon also worked as an investment banker with Wachovia Capital Markets (now Wells Fargo Securities) and as a community banker with M&F Bancorp’s Commercial Credit group.
Napoleon is a native of Pitt and Beaufort counties, the proud son of a teacher and a small-business owner. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from North Carolina Central University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.