Andrew Zoll, the new Chief Budget Officer for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, recently spoke with JC/AOC communications staffer, Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez.
Condensed and edited for clarity
Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez: Would you please share your professional background with our readers?
Andrew Zoll: Sure, I studied political science at the University of Georgia, and I had a professor who encouraged me to participate in a legislative internship. I decided to pursue that opportunity and I interned at the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office during the 2011 legislative session. Criminal justice reform was the big issue that year. So, I got the opportunity to help track and analyze that legislation. I enjoyed doing that type of policy work, seeing the work behind the scenes, and it piqued my interest in the judicial branch.
After that session, I finished up my coursework in fall 2012 and began working as an aide for state Senator Jack Hill, who was the former appropriations chairman. Senator Hill’s leadership was second to none—someone for whom you wanted to work hard. He had a huge influence on me and on the whole state of Georgia. I really enjoyed my time working for him. From there, I took a full-time position at the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office as an analyst on the Judicial Subcommittee, and the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee. I served in that role for eight and a half years and really enjoyed the role, my colleagues, and all of the Senators with whom I got the chance to work. That role exposed me to the work of the JC/AOC and so, when the position of Chief Budget Officer opened at the JC/AOC, I decided to pursue it. It was a great opportunity to jump on board with an agency to expand my horizons and build on the skills I learned in the legislature. I’ve been enjoying the work and my new colleagues at the JC/AOC.
NL-A: How long have you been at the JC/AOC?
Andrew Zoll: I joined in January 2022. My first week here was the first week of the new year. So, I’m still fairly new. There are a lot of moving parts to my work, but I’m figuring it all out and I’m grateful for the wonderful support of my new colleagues, especially the JC/AOC’s former Chief Budget Officer, Maleia Wilson, who now serves as the agency’s CFO. I also very much appreciate the leadership of our Agency Director, Cynthia Clanton.
NL-A: That’s great. New year, new job. You’re off to a great start, Andrew.
Andrew Zoll: Thank you, I hope so. That’s my goal.
NL-A: What do you hope to achieve in your position?
Andrew Zoll: My primary goal is to ensure that we, as an agency, are fiscally sound and maintain strong budgeting principles. By laying that groundwork, I create a budgeting infrastructure to allow everyone at the agency to accomplish and build on their goals. I support the work of the JC/AOC by ensuring strong budgeting principles and being a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
NL-A: I know I speak for everyone at the JC/AOC when I say, we appreciate your work. Now, let’s pivot and give our readers a sense of you personally. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Andrew Zoll: I have a 10-month-old son, so he takes up a good amount of time, which is very fun. My wife and I enjoy spending time with him, being outside with him, taking him on walks in the stroller, going to Zoo, and all those types of things. I’m also a big Atlanta and Georgia sports fan, and I enjoy reading. Going to concerts—live music—which we hope to resume as the pandemic wanes, is a passion for my wife and me.
NL-A: What’s your little guy’s name and how is he doing? What’s he up to?
Andrew Zoll: His name is Lane, and he’s great. He never stops moving. He’s crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything. He’s not far away from walking. So, that’ll be exciting and fun to see.
NL-A: How wonderful. I love that you’re enjoying this season of your life. Congratulations on your relatively new baby and you’re relatively new position.
Andrew Zoll: Thank you. It has been a lot of change all at once, but it’s been a very positive experience.
NLA: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Andrew Zoll: I’d just like to say that I’m happy to be working with such a great team, and I look forward to getting to know everyone even more over the next few months. If there’s anything anyone ever needs from me, my door is always open. I’m always happy to help with any budget-related questions or concerns.