Raleigh, N.C. — State Treasurer Janet Cowell, who is not seeking re-election, will be traveling to Jordan and Germany early next year to work with Syrian refugees.
She announced her plans at the State Board of Education meeting earlier this month in Boone.
"I think we’ve all been watching the whole refugee situation globally with concern, so through the Methodist church, I’m going to go to Jordan to work in a refugee camp with Syrians," she said. "Then (I'll) go to Germany, where I was an exchange student, so I speak German, working with some of the Germans and how they’re dealing with the now half-million Syrians."
She will be doing the work in January and February through Asbury United Methodist, where she is a member, according to her office.
Cowell said she doesn't know what her long-term plans will be. She announced last year that she wouldn't seek a third term as treasurer or any other political office in 2016. In an email to supporters, she said it was "one of the more difficult decisions in my life. I’ve prayed about it and discussed it with friends and family."
This past March, she joined the board of directors at Triangle-based ChannelAdvisor, a tech firm that helps companies find their audience online. She is receiving a $50,000 annual retainer and $150,000 in stock options. She requested an ethics opinion earlier this year in regard to her service on ChannelAdvisor's board as well as the board of James River Holdings, a Bermuda-based insurance holding company with offices in Raleigh and other U.S. locations.
The Democrat is the first woman elected as state treasurer in North Carolina. Her current term expires in January.