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Dr. James Thurmond



Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD, University of Houston Main Campus (2007). Major area is public administration.
  • Masters of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin (1973)
  • BA degree (major Political Science and minor Economics), Texas A&M University (1969)

Teaching Experience

  • Clinical Professor, University of Houston, graduate level - Administrative Theory, Urban Management, and Urban Politics; Undergraduate level – Intro to Public Administration, Public Administration Implementation, and Comparative Public Policy, Fall 2008 to present.
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Houston, graduate level Urban Management, Spring 2006 and 2007 and Administrative Theory, Fall 2007. Undergraduate Comparative Public Policy, Fall 2007.

Relevant Work Experience

  • Director, Masters of Public Administration Program, University of Houston, August 2008 to present
  • Retired from city government in 2003 after 30 years
  • Two years in the U.S. Army, including 14 months in Vietnam
  • Management Analyst and then as Director of Community Development with the City of Denison, Texas, 1973-1976
  • City Manager, Cleveland, Texas, from 1976-1981, followed by Uvalde 1981-1993 and Missouri City 1993-2003.

Conference Papers

  • The Practitioner and Theory. Presented at the American Society for Public Administration, Regional Meeting, Austin, TX, September 30, 2005.
  • Transforming Local Government. Panel discussion at the ASPA regional meeting, San Marcos, TX, November 4, 2007.


  • Academic: American Society for Public Administration and National Association of Schools for Public Administration and Affairs
  • Work Career: Texas City Management Association (life time member) and International City Management Association (life time member)

Relevant Work Honors and Recognitions

  • President, Texas City Management Association 1995-96
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Texas City Management Association, 2003

Relevant Work Presentations

  • “Ethics in Public Service” (1988) Workshop for Elected and Appointed City Officials, South Padre Island, Texas
  • “Environmental Mandates: What Can Small Cities Do?” (1993) Councilmembers and Commissioners Annual Institute, Plano, Texas
  • “Evaluating a City Manager: One City Manager’s Perspective” (1996) Councilmembers and Commissioners Annual Institute, Austin, Texas
  • “The Council-Manager Relationship, Expectations of the Relationship, Ways to Strengthen the Relationship”, (2000) Public Executive Institute
  • “The Political and Practical Aspects of Providing Information to the Media, the Citizens, and the City Council” (2003) TCMA William King Cole Series, Irving, Texas

Relevant Work Related Professional Articles Published

  • Computer Helps Pick Station Site (1975) Fire Engineering
  • An Argument for Investing in Infrastructure (1989) Public Management, Washington D.C.: ICMA.
  • Environmental Mandates: You Can Fight Back – and Win (1992) Texas Town and City, Austin: TML.
  • City of Missouri City and Developers Execute a Comprehensive Development Agreement on 7,400-Acre Tract (1996) Texas Town and City, Austin: TML.
  • Analyzing Your City (2nd edition, 1999) Austin: Texas City Management Association.
  • The Council-Manager Relationship: What Works (2002) Public Management, Washington D.C.: ICMA.
  • Causes of Manager Turnover (Sept. 2009) Public Management, Washington D.C.: ICMA