Max O. Stephenson Jr., PhD

Max Stephenson Interdiscplinary Studies

Title: Professor, Director
Company: The Institute for Policy and Governance, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia, United States

Max O. Stephenson Jr., PhD, Founding Director of The Institute for Policy and Governance, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dr. Stephenson has a unique background with trans-interdisciplinary interests and many sub-fields. He was interested in democratic politics, and studied under his mentor Fredrick Mosher, one of the leading figures in American public administration scholarship. Though Dr. Stephenson worked briefly in public administration, he found more interest in academics and has held positions in environmental design, architecture, urban affairs, nonprofit management, and a slew of other roles. He has seen 23 doctoral students to completion, with a similar number for master’s degree students, and has served on over 180 graduate committees over the course of his career. Dr. Stephenson defines success as being “fulfilled in what you do at the highest level.” He takes a great deal of pride in his students’ achievements.

As the first in his family to go to college and have a PhD, Dr. Stephenson came from poverty to earn a BA in political science and economics with high distinction from the University of Virginia in 1977, and completed a MA in public administration, followed by a PhD in government in 1985. He is presently serving as a faculty member of the Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society at Virginia Tech, as well as the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and the Master of Public Health Program. Since 2007, Dr. Stephenson has taught as a professor of the social, political, ethical, and cultural thought doctoral program with Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Dr. Stephenson transitioned out of public administration to work in more engaging areas, and since 2014 has been a member of the international advisory committee of the Cities of Peace. He is concurrently a member of the board of trustees of Kimoyo Ghana and chairman of the Public Policy Committee. Of course, Dr. Stephenson has also been prolific as an editor, reviewer, and author in the fields of public administration and governance. He received a 2017 Excellence in Scholarship Award from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, the latest in a slew of awards. In his free time, Dr. Stephenson enjoys riding and restoring vintage English three-speed bicycles.

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