For his international work in advancing public sector performance, UNC Charlotte researcher James Douglas has received the Senator Peter B. Boorsma Award. The Southeastern Conference for Public Administration presented him the award in October in Raleigh at its annual conference. The Boorsma Award honors a practitioner or academician who facilitates over many years the international exchange of knowledge and administrative practices that foster better performance in the public sector.
“I have worked in countries that are very different from the United States and from each other,” Douglas said. “Working in such places helps bridge the gap in understanding across countries and cultures. I think the committee also appreciated that I have done both teaching and research abroad.”
Douglas is a professor in the Department of Political Science & Public Administration in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Estonia at Tallinn University of Technology in 2014 and an advisory board member for the Center of Governance and Public Management at the Lahore University of Management Sciences from 2013 to 2015. He has published in academic journals including Policy Studies Journal, Public Organization Review, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Administration Review, American Journal of Political Science and others. His specialties include public budgeting and finance, judicial administration and public administration. He has consulted with and taught public officials in Japan, China, Pakistan and Estonia, focusing on public policy best practices.
“I believe my work has had its biggest impact in Pakistan, where the public officials I trained are working under extremely difficult conditions,” he said. “Their positive attitudes and eagerness to make their country better was an inspiration to me.”
Douglas was director of the UNC Charlotte Master of Public Administration program from 2006 to 2012. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte’s faculty, he was a faculty member at the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma. He earned his doctoral degree in public administration from the University of Georgia.
“We are very proud of this recognition of Jim’s outstanding scholarship on the international stage,” said Thomas Barth, director of UNC Charlotte’s MPA program. “It reflects the talent and dedication Jim brings to his scholarship, teaching and engagement.”
Douglas describes his selection as a distinct honor. “Receiving the award affirms in my mind that the work I have been doing abroad is meaningful and is hopefully making a difference in the world,” he said.
Contributed by Erin Cortez, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences student intern | Image: Lynn Roberson, Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences