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James Thurmond

Professor of Practice

Expertise: Public Management, Urban Politics, Administrative Theory, and Policy Implementation 

Career Highlights:

James Thurmond is a professor of practice known for his extensive contributions to public administration. He holds a doctorate in political science and public administration, a master's degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s in political science and economics from Texas A&M University.

With a career spanning over three decades, Thurmond retired from city government in 2003. His experience includes serving as the city manager for Cleveland, Uvalde, and Missouri City, Texas. Before this, he held significant roles such as a management analyst and director of community development with the City of Denison, Texas. Thurmond served as director of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Houston from 2008-2022. Notably, he dedicated two years of service to the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971, including a commendable 14-month deployment in Vietnam with the 7/17th Air Cavalry.

Thurmond is a member of the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and a life member of both the Texas City Management Association and the International City/County Management Association.

His relevant work honors and recognitions include serving as president of the Texas City Management Association from 1995-96 and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas City Management Association in 2003.