Dr. RaJade M. Berry-James is an elected Fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration and Vice Chair of the Standing Panel of Social Equity in Governance. At NC State University, Berry-James is Chair of the Faculty and a Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). She has spent more than 30 years in higher education, having served as MPA Coordinator, PhD Coordinator, and Director of Graduate Programs for small, large and research-intensive graduate programs. Berry-James is also a consultant, specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as assessment and accreditation in higher education.
Dr. Berry-James’ research, teaching, and community engagement focus on the theory and practice of social equity. Her recent book, Why Research Methods Matter: Essential Skills in Decision Making (2018) emphasizes real-world policymaking and evidence-building to support decision-making. She has published chapters in leading public management books and published her scholarly research in top journals including Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Journal of Black Political Research, Public Performance and Management Review, Journal of the International Association for the Study of the Global Achievement Gap, International Journal of Public Administration, International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management, Journal of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners, and Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. Berry-James has served on the editorial boards of the State and Local Government Review (SLGR), Journal of Public Administration Education (J-PAE), Journal of Public Management & Social Policy (PMSP) as well as the journal of Public Performance and Management Review (PPMR). At NC State, Berry-James has designed and taught the NASPAA award-winning MPA Capstone and Cultural Competence in the Public Sector courses, as well as designed courses in Social Equity, Survey Research and Program Evaluation. Currently, Berry-James is the program evaluator of the North Carolina Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) program and serves as an equity consultant with the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School, Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE).
Among Dr. Berry-James’ accomplishments, she was elected to the NASPAA Executive Council and was appointed to serve as a two-time chair of the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) during 2012-14 and has served as past co-chair of NAPA’s 20th Annual and 12th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conferences. From 2010 thru 2013, Berry-James was Director of Graduate Programs in Public Administration at NC State. Prior to joining NC State, Berry-James held faculty positions at the University of Akron (2000-2010) where she served as Assistant Chair, Director of the PhD Program and Graduate Assistantship Coordinator; and Assistant Professor at Georgia College and State University where she served as the MPA Coordinator (1999-2000). Before joining the faculty, Berry-James was an adjunct professor while holding administrative positions as Assistant to the Dean in the School of Liberal Arts (1993-1999) and Assistant Director promoted to Associate Director of Institutional Research (1987-1993) at Kean University.
Dr. Berry-James has received numerous awards in the field of public administration. In 2021, she received the Best Paper Award from the Research Triangle Chapter of ASPA for her co-authored article, “Stepping up to the plate: Making social equity a priority in public administration’s troubled times.” In addition, Berry-James received the Carolyn L. Lattimore Education Excellence Award (2020), NC State Outstanding Engagement Award (2019), Rutgers University – Newark Alumni Spotlight (2018), NASPAA Social Justice Curriculum Award (2017), ASPA Presidential Merit Citation (2017), COMPA National Public Service Award (2016), NC State Chancellor’s Creating Community Award for Outstanding Faculty (2013), NASPAA Diversity Award (2013), COMPA Sylvester Murray Distinguished Mentor Award (2011), and Donald C. Stone Service to ASPA Award (2008) as a distinction for her service to the field of public policy, public administration and public affairs.
Dr. Berry-James earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Rutgers University (Newark), with a specialization in productive public management (1999). She also holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Kean University (1993), a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration from Rider University (1987) and a Certified Public Manager (CPM) distinction from the State of New Jersey/Rutgers University (1991). She has also completed additional certification programs in Reflective Teaching (NC State, 2017), Leadership Development in National Security and Strategy (U.S. Army War College, 2015), and Nonprofit Management (Duke University, 2012).
Dr. Berry-James’ engaged scholarship is guided by an old Ethiopian proverb, “S/he who learns, teaches.”
- Berry-James, R. M., B. Blessett, R. Emas, S. McCandless, A. E. Nickels, K. Norman-Major & P. Vinzant. (2020). Stepping Up to the Plate: Making Social Equity a Priority in Public Administration’s Troubled Times, Journal of Public Affairs Education, 27:1, pp. 5-15. DOI: 10.1080/15236803.2020.1820289
- Berry-James, R. M., S. Gooden, and R. G. Johnson III. (2020). Civil rights, Social Equity and Census 2020. Public Administration Review, 80(6), pp. 1100-1108. DOI: 10.1111/puar.13285
- Johnson, R.G., III, Gooden, S.T. and Berry‐James PhD, R.M. (2020), Symposium Introduction: The Pursuit of Civil Rights and Public Sector Values in the 21st Century: Examining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Vision in the Trump Era. Public Admin Rev, 80(6): pp. 1035-1037. Available at https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13314
- Equity Consultant at the VCU Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE) Institute on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management initiative.
- Evaluation of the NC Farm to Early Care and Education Program, with the Center of Environmental Farming Systems
- “A is for Ally: The Essential Elements of Allyship!” International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) 96th Venue Connect Annual Conference and Trade Show, Georgia World Congress Center, August 25, 2021.
- “The Pursuit of Civil Rights and Public Sector Values in the 21st Century: Examining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Vision in the Trump Era,” hosted by ASPA, PAR, ASPA The Section on Democracy and Social Justice, Research Symposium Roundtable, March 24, 2021.
- “Telling Herstory: Pandemics, Social Equity and COVID-19: Is there a Disproportionate Impact on Women?” Youngstown State University, Women’s History Month, The Pandemic Series, March 23, 2021.
- “Building a Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship” American Society for Public Administration, Student and New Professional Webinar Series, December 10, 2020.
- “Why Research Methods Matter: Essential Skills for Decision Making.” American Society for Public Administration, ASPA Book Talk Webinar Series, December 9, 2020.
- “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Next Steps for Ethics Education in PA,” Part 6 of 6 DSJ’s Ethics Education series. American Society for Public Administration, The Section on Democracy and Social Justice: November 10, 2020.
- “Center Stage Session: The Future of Work: Are You Ready?” Virtual ACT – IAC Advancing Government Executive Leadership Conference (ELC). Reimagine Nation ELC 2020: October 29, 2020
- Conducting SEDI Research: Why Research Methods Matter,” 3rd Annual Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SEDI) Workshops, American Society of Public Administration. Registration: Lu.ma/asbb0980: October 1, 2020.
- “Dismantling Inequities and injustices in Health Care and Public Health.” Part Five of DSJ’s series on Dismantling White Supremacy. ASPA Section Democracy and Social Justice, September 30, 2020
- “Cultural Perceptions regarding GMO: Engaging, Sampling and Inclusion Strategies.” Rutgers University – PhD Colloquium, September 25, 2020.
- “COMPA Webinar: The Impact on COVID-19 on Faculty, Students and Staff.” [Rescheduled from August 27, 2020 to September 24, 2020].
Area(s) of Expertise
Social Equity, Program Evaluation, Research Methods