Margie Miller

Margie Miller

Vice President of Government Relations


Margie Miller is the vice president of government relations at Augusta University, where she leads the efforts to advance and support the university’s strategic plan in increasing student enrollment, expanding research and strengthening community engagement. She works closely with local, state and federal officials to advocate for the interests and needs of Augusta University and its community.

Miller joined Augusta University in 2014 as Director of State Government Relations. She’s fostered strong relationships with Georgia’s elected officials and highlighted the tremendous value Augusta University provides to the state. Miller has helped secure state support for various strategic priorities and projects at Augusta University, such as the Medical College of Georgia, Dental College of Georgia, Georgia Cyber Center and campus-wide initiatives.

Miller has nearly a decade of experience in government relations for the university. Prior to that, she worked for 11 years with the Georgia House of Representatives Budget & Research Office as a senior fiscal and policy analyst, specializing in health care policy and health care appropriations.

Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Georgia and a Master of Arts in Professional Politics from Georgia State University. She also completed the Legislative Health Policy Certificate Program at Georgia State University in 2009 and the Augusta University Executive Leadership Program in 2021.

Monty Philpot Brock

Monty Philpot Brock

Director of Federal Relations


Monty Philpot Brock joined Augusta University (AU) in 2011. In this role, she has advanced AU’s mission and priorities nationally by expanding our engagement with Congress and federal agencies in Washington, D.C.

A native of Augusta, Monty spent over a decade working on policy and legislative issues for the U.S. House and Senate while living in Washington, D.C. While there she volunteered with the Senate Bipartisan Legislative Directors group and the Georgia State Society. She has also served as a member of the Government Relations Steering Committee for the American Association of Medical Colleges, a political appointee on the Savannah River Site Community Reinvestment Board, and as a member of the U.S. Chamber Cyber Leadership Council. She currently serves on Georgia Chamber’s Innovation and Technology Committee and is a graduate of the Leadership Georgia class of 2008. She has volunteered with food banks in Augusta, Atlanta, and with David’s Hope, a non-profit organization in Kenya.

Monty received a BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies from Augusta University. While she is a native of Augusta, she and her husband live in Atlanta.

Ashton Blackwood

Ashton Blackwood

Director of State Government Relations


Ashton Blackwood serves as the Director of State Government Relations for Augusta University. She has been a proud part of the team since 2019 and has worked to advocate for students, faculty, and staff statewide, engaging with stakeholders and legislators.

A career-long public servant, Ashton spent most of her tenure working for the Georgia State Senate as well as the Governor’s Office.

She is a 2013 graduate of the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a 2022 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

A member of the 2015 30 Under 30 Class at UWG, Ashton continues to serve as a member of the Alumni Board of Directors at her alma mater. She is also a graduate of the 2019 Leadership Hall Class and the Zell Miller Leadership Institute. In addition, she currently serves as a member of the Legislative Task Force for the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals and is active with the Georgia Chamber Government Affairs Council.

Ashton resides in Atlanta, Ga.


Luke Ray

Assistant Director of State Government Relations


Luke Ray serves as the Assistant Director of State Government Relations. Luke received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia in 2022. 

While in college, Luke was an administrative intern at Project Safe, a local domestic violence prevention nonprofit in Athens. He then worked at the Metro Atlanta Chamber as a public policy and government relations intern and a post-legislative session consultant before field organizing in the 2022 Georgia election. 

Luke resides in Atlanta, GA. 



photo of Maggie Witherington

Maggie Witherington

  • Director, Administrative Operations


photo of Jean Grover

Jean Grover

  • Executive Administrative Assistant, Office of Government Relations