Dr. James Agbodzakey brings vigor to SERCH Institute

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Dr. James Agbodzakey, whose extensive background includes working with public, private and nonprofit entities in Africa, the Caribbean and the United States at institutions such as Nova Southeastern University, Ohio University and Florida Atlantic University, and with organizations such as the United Nations, is the new Director of the University of North Texas at Dallas’ Urban SERCH Institute.

Dr. Agbodzakey, who joined UNT Dallas this fall after five years at Nova Southeastern, also serves as Associate Professor of Leadership. In taking over the SERCH Institute, he said he strongly believes the institute “is critical for transformational change in surrounding communities.”

“Going forward, SERCH will focus on sustaining existing partnerships and creating new ones in ways that will help create value for the community and society,” Dr. Agbodzakey said. “SERCH will capitalize on UNTD’s most valued resource – faculty and students.”

The UNT Dallas Urban SERCH Institute is dedicated to providing service, education and research projects with the purpose of improving the social, economic and community well-being of Dallas’ southern sector. Utilizing the university’s intellectual capital and academic expertise, SERCH aims to provide objective data to policymakers and community leaders, while also building the capacity of individuals and organizations in the region.

The SERCH Institute serves as a key strategic component in fulfilling the UNT Dallas mission to be a catalyst in the community’s transformation. The institute also plays a significant role in the City of Dallas’ GrowSouth initiative.

“There is no doubt that UNTD’s key constituencies such as Office of Advancement, schools and programs, deans, program coordinators, faculty, key administrators including President Mong, Provost Stewart, Student Affairs, SERCH affiliates and fellows, among others will be pivotal to SERCH’s various initiatives and eventual success,” Dr Agbodzakey said. “I certainly look forward to working with all UNTD and community stakeholders to collectively make meaningful change in Dallas County.”

Dr. Agbodzakey has taught in areas such as General Public Administration, Public Policy, Organizational Studies, Budgeting and Finance and Nonprofit Management. His research is in areas such as healthcare/HIV and AIDS, public policy, public administration/bureaucracy, collaborative governance, nonprofit management, succession planning, public procurement, crime mapping and forecasting, oil/gas sector governance, education reform, housing and sustainable development.

He has also worked at and with the College of The Bahamas/University of The Bahamas, International Monetary Fund/Kelly Services, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Save Lower Volta Network (SALVONET), Hillel at Ohio University, Research International, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, FAU Public Procurement Research Center/National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, and Broward and Palm Beach County’s HIV Health Services Planning Councils, among others.

He studied at the University of Ghana, Ohio University and Florida Atlantic University. His professional association membership and service cut across local, state, regional, national and international levels.

Dr. Agbodzakey succeeded Dr. Larry Terry, who became the Director of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, and Lecturer of Public Policy.