Amir Mehr ‘92 Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award
By Lea Hart
Amir Mehr’s time at North Carolina State University wasn’t just a four-year college experience, it was the start of lifelong relationships with the people he met and with the university itself.
Amir came from New Jersey to enroll at NC State in 1988. Seeking a big university with a vibrant athletics scene and warmer weather, he enrolled at NC State – his top choice – without having the benefit of being able to tour the campus. Today, he looks back with no regrets.
“It was just a great experience moving down here; I loved going to school here,” he said. “I met a lot of great friends that are still friends to-date, and most importantly, it’s where I met my wife as well.”
His wife, Anne, was enrolled at Meredith College where she graduated in 1993, and the two said much of their social life revolved around NC State and Amir’s fraternity, where he met so many people he still calls friends today.
He knew he wanted to study business – this was before the Poole College of Management existed – but wasn’t sure what area he’d study. It was the instructors in his accounting courses that helped Amir settle on a major.
“I had a series of great teachers in accounting that made it really interesting for me,” he said. “I can remember that feeling like the first time I said, this is definitely what I want to study.”
I can remember that feeling like the first time I said, this is definitely what I want to study.
Amir graduated with a bachelor of arts in Accounting in 1992, and spent much of the last 30 years working in the financial services industry in investment banks across New York and London, specializing in fixed income capital markets. He currently works for Kensington Mortgages, a United Kingdom-based company, as portfolio strategy, credit and analytics director and also sits on the board of their parent company. The couple lives in North Raleigh, but Amir often travels to the UK for his work.
This fall, Amir will be recognized with Poole College of Management’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. Looking at his family’s commitment to NC State over the years, it’s easy to see the honor is well-deserved.
Anne and Amir have stayed connected to NC State and the Poole College of Management in many ways. Amir was appointed to serve on Poole College’s Advisory Board, while Anne serves on NC State’s Board for Student Success, which supports the Division of Academic and Student Affairs.
What’s more, NC State and Poole College are quickly becoming a family tradition. Amir’s sister, Ghazale Johnston, attended NC State as well and has her own relationship with the university, currently serving as chair of the NC State Foundation Board. Two of Amir and Anne’s children also chose to attend NC State. Matthew graduated Poole College in 2022 while Madelyn is currently double-majoring in Business Administration and Political Science. Their youngest, Harrison, is a high school senior this year, so it’s possible there’s another member joining the Wolfpack soon.
“If you look at our family, NC State is really entrenched,” Amir said. “It’s something that’s part of our lives, and at the front of our minds a lot of the time.”
If you look at our family, NC State is really entrenched. It’s something that’s part of our lives, and at the front of our minds a lot of the time.
Those meaningful connections are part of the reason Amir and Anne chose to create the Mehr Family Faculty Enrichment Endowment last year. The funds from the endowment will be used to support faculty excellence at Poole in any number of ways. Some examples include use for faculty recruitment and retention, faculty enrichment activities, or research support, among others.
Amir said they chose to support Poole’s faculty after the college’s leadership team identified this as an area of need.
“It just makes sense,” Amir said. “If you have really talented individuals teaching students, you get better educated students.
“I had great experiences with faculty when I was at NC State, and without some of the mentors I had, I might have been in a different position coming out – it felt like a natural way to help.”
It’s also about a desire to give back instilled in them by their own families growing up, he said.
“We try to impart this on our children, and our parents imparted it on us – when you are fortunate, one of your biggest responsibilities is to give back,” he said.
As they come full circle, too, now watching their own children have meaningful experiences at Poole College and NC State, it’s been an opportunity to witness how Poole College has grown and developed and that’s something they want to support for the future.
“I remember the program way before it was Poole College, and I thought it was great then,” Amir said. “If you think about it, it’s a fairly young business school and it’s amazing to see what they’ve done.”
From the volume and types of courses Poole offers, to the forward-thinking emphasis on data and analytics, Amir said the college is doing all the right things to produce the best graduates.
Both Amir and Anne say they’ve been impressed as well with the network of relationships Poole has developed among potential employers.
Though it’s Amir that will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, he’s quick to say that it was only possible thanks to his support system.
“This wouldn’t have happened without the mentors and experiences I had at NC State, the friends I made there, and the backing of my parents who taught me the importance of resilience and who helped send me there, as well as my brother and sister and their friendship,” he said. “And then my wife, who is the one person I always know is on my side who, along with my kids, are my inspiration.
To receive this award and be honored with this means a lot, but it’s not something that was done on an island – I have an incredibly supportive cast and crew along with me.
“To receive this award and be honored with this means a lot, but it’s not something that was done on an island – I have an incredibly supportive cast and crew along with me.”