Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Political Science
B.A., Southern University, Louisiana, Political Science
Georgia Persons received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, Dr. Persons' major professors included Walter Dean Burnham, Michael Lipsky, and the late Jeffrey Pressman. At the doctoral level Dr. Persons specialized in American Government and Politics, Urban Politics and Policy, and Political development. Her Ph.D. dissertation was titled: "Atlanta: Black Mayoral Leadership and the Dynamics of Political Change", which was an assessment of the first term of the mayoralty of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first black mayor.
In addition to having served on the faculty in Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Persons has had extensive experience in research settings in the private sector. As a member of the Technical Staff of the MITRE Corporation, a federal contract research organization, she served as a Policy Analyst in the areas of environmental and energy policy. Dr. Persons serves as editor of The National Political Science Review, a refereed, scholarly journal published by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Dr. Persons recently published a sole authored book, The Making of Energy and Telecommunications Policy (February 1995, Praeger Publishers) which examines the role of policy ideas as instruments of policy formulation the areas of energy and telecommunications policy.
Dr. Persons is the editor (and author of 4 chapters) of an anthology, Dilemmas of Black Politics: Issues of Leadership and Strategy, Harper Collins, 1993. She also recently authored several book chapters in the areas of black electoral politics, race and urban political change, and electoral systems and minority/women electoral successes. Dr. Persons has published articles in journals such as Policy Studies Review, The National Political Science Review, The National Civic Review, and Phylon.
At Georgia Tech, Dr. Persons is very active in university governance activities and serves on a host of committee in the School of Public Policy including the faculty executive committee, the Ivan Allen College, and campus-wide committees. She is a frequent commentator on issues of race relations, public policy, and national, state, and local politics for the local and national media.