The School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies has announced that it is inaugurating an advisory board and Professor Emeritus James R. Bohland will serve a two-year term as the first chair.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1980, Bohland, a professor in Urban Affairs and Planning, guided the establishment of the School of Public and International Affairs, serving as its founding director.

During his career at Virginia Tech, Bohland also held the position of vice president and executive director in the National Capital Region from 2002 until 2011, before retiring in 2012. He is currently serving in this same position in an interim capacity while a national search is conducted to fill the position.

“We are thrilled that Jim has agreed to serve as chair of our first advisory board,” said Anne Khademian, director of the School of Public and International Affairs. “He brings years of leadership experience within the School of Public and International Affairs, the National Capital Region, and across the university."

Khademian said that the advisory board composition will represent the focus and interests of the three programs in the school -- Center for Public Administration and Policy, Government and International Affairs, and Urban Affairs and Planning -- as well as the long term priorities of the school. The advisory board will be responsible for providing insight and guidance on strategic direction and identifying potential resources. And it will also explore ways to enhance student education, foster faculty advancement, and increase overall visibility of the school.

“The college has encouraged the formation of this advisory board as an important step for furthering the development of the School of Public and International Affairs and we are happy to see that it has come to fruition,” said Jack Davis, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies

Bohland will work with Khademian, Davis, and faculty to identify leaders in the Commonwealth of Virginia and leaders in public and international affairs to serve on the board that will convene its first meeting by early January 2014.

Each member will serve a three-year term with an option for renewal. Members selected as board officers (chair, vice chair, or recorder) will serve in that capacity for two years. The plan is to have a full board of 18 members in place by July 2015.  

The programs in the School of Public and International Affairs offer degrees at the main Blacksburg campus and at the National Capital Region campus in Alexandria, Va. The master of public administration degree is also offered in Richmond, Va.

“Our three programs are rich with diverse, talented, and productive faculty. We offer three masters degrees and two doctoral degrees that prepare students for outstanding public and nonprofit service, leadership, and scholarship built on the strengths of a commitment to interdisciplinary research and engagement,” Khademian said.

“Having built such a strong foundation we are now poised for moving forward and the advisory board will be instrumental in helping us take the next step,” she said.

Bohland received his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.