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Okojie Joins ORAU Board of Directors

April 12, 2007

Oak Ridge, Tenn.—The Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ (ORAU) Board of Directors welcomed Felix A. Okojie as a new director at the 62nd annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held recently in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership.

Okojie currently serves as vice president for research development, support and federal relations and professor of public health and educational administration at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. He also serves as Jackson State’s representative on both the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions and the ORAU Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Educational Institutions (HBCU/MEI) Council.

"I am highly honored to be elected to this esteemed board," said Okojie. "During my tenure, it will be my commitment to help advance, leverage, and broaden science and education partnerships between minority-serving and majority research institutions, government agencies, and national laboratories. I also look forward to helping the board chart new policy directions for the 21st century."

Okojie obtained his bachelor's degree from Auchi Polytechnic in Nigeria where he graduated summa cum laude in business administration. He received a master of public health degree from Jackson State University, and both a master of arts degree in medical sociology and a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy studies from Atlanta University. Okojie is also a graduate of the Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

During the past 15 years, he has served in several administrative, research and professional capacities at universities and government, including senior research associate at Atlanta University, and education technologist at the Mississippi State Department of Education. He has been proactive in providing administrative, academic and research leadership in several disciplines including science and technology, health sciences, education, and social sciences. For the past 10 years, he has devoted much of his time toward the growth of research programs at Jackson State. At Jackson State, he has taken leadership roles in the funding and ongoing implementation of the National Center for Biodefense Communications, Army High Performance Super Computing Center, Center for Defense Integrated Data, and the Jackson Heart Study Coordinating Center, the largest contracted prospective study in the U.S. on cardiovascular disease among African Americans. In 2000, Jackson State was designated by Carnegie classification as a high research university, and in 2005 the school ranked second among HBCU’s in research and development expenditures.

A certified research administrator, Okojie serves on various state and national organization boards including the National Research Administrator Certification Council, the ad hoc committee of the National Council for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and as a senior editorial advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning and Evaluation’s Report to U.S. Congress. A strong proponent of the capabilities at HBCUs to engage in contract opportunities, he has testified orally and in writing on these capabilities to different federal agencies and sub-committees of the U.S. Congress.

Other directors elected to the ORAU Board were:

  • Sandra J. Degen, vice president for research, University of Cincinnati
  • Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel dean and professor, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
  • Brooks A. Keel, vice chancellor for research and economic development and professor of biological engineering, Louisiana State University
  • Suzanne Laurich-McIntyre, assistant vice provost for graduate education, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Winfred M. Phillips, vice president for research, University of Florida
  • J. Paul Reason, admiral, United States Navy (retired)
  • David D. Reed, vice president for research, Michigan Technological University

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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