Ryan Combs, a former aide to U.S. Senator Richard Burr and a director of government affairs for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, will be the new executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.

Harvey Schmitt, former CEO at the greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce who has been working with the RTRP as a consultant, confirmed Combs’ selection to WRAL TechWire.

The Triangle Business Journal first reported Combs’ selection.

Combs will take the new job as of Feb. 20, RTRP Chairman John Kane told the Business Journal.

“Ryan has excellent communications skills, and has dealt with people from all walks of life from the rural poor to the President of the United States. He’s not intimidated by anyone in the room,” Kane told TBJ reporter Amanda Hoyle.

Long-time RTRP CEO Charles Hayes retired last year.

Soon thereafter, RTRP Chief Operating Officer Lee Ann Nance resigned, starting her own consulting business.