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James Whittaker (MPA ’85)

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My Master of Public Administration degree allowed me to branch out from my existing profession to more challenging and satisfying endeavors, which I could not have done as an urban planner at the time. The switch from urban planning to public administration was so much more rewarding professionally and personally. I am immensely thankful to my professors, Dr. Oliver Williams, Dr. Michael Vasu and my advisor Dr. James E. Swiss for their guidance during my stay at NC State.

After leaving NC State, I was recruited to research and develop a road impact fee ordinance for a county in Florida. At the time, this was a revolutionary concept in local government. After successfully implementing this plan, while withstanding several legal challenges, I was awarded a National Association of Counties (NACO) Award. Several adjacent counties also adopted impact fees during this time. Additional professional positions allowed me to enjoy a rewarding career in public service.

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