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Guyanese to head Georgia university

Guyanese academic Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York, will assume a new post as the ninth president of Fort Valley State University on July 22, 2013.

“Dr. Griffith was the outstanding candidate,” said Dink NeSmith, chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. “The vote was unanimous. He has this Board’s full support to provide the leadership Fort Valley State University needs at this moment. We are excited about his presidency and delighted he will become the university’s next president. This is a great day for Fort Valley.”

“The Board of Regents has made an outstanding selection,” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby of the University System of Georgia. “Dr. Griffith is an accomplished scholar whose career and academic training will take this institution to a level of achievement and quality so critical in the global world of tomorrow,” he said.

“I and the other members of my staff are totally committed to supporting President Griffith as he leads the students, faculty and the extended Fort Valley Community into the future,” he added.

“I know all who are committed to assuring a successful future for the University will lend their support to President Griffith’s administration,” he continued.

Griffith has served as provost at York College since 2007. During his tenure, he increased the number of full-time faculty by 30 percent, reorganized the academic division and enhanced the research and scholarly climate by creating a Provost Lecture Series and a companion Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series, among other initiatives.

Griffith also established an undergraduate student research program.

Before being named provost at York College, Griffith, in addition to his teaching duties as a tenured professor of political science, served as provost at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.

He was also Budget Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, as well as dean of the FIU Honors College.

The USG said Griffith is a specialist on Caribbean security, drugs and crime. In this capacity, he has been a consultant to Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other organizations.

He also has spoken at military academies across the United States and in the Caribbean, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Security and Defense Studies Review, which is published by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, in Washington, D.C., the university system said.

A past president of the Caribbean Studies Association, he has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the Royal Military College of Canada and the George Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany.

He has also testified before the United States Congress on Caribbean security matters.

The USG said Griffith has published seven books and more than 50 articles on his area of expertise.

The research for his “highly acclaimed book,” “Drugs and Security in the Caribbean: Sovereignty Under Siege,” was funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and his eighth book, “Challenged Sovereignty,” will be published next year by the University of Illinois Press.

Most recently, Griffith was one of 45 experts invited by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States to review the hemisphere’s narcotics policies and practices and propose anti-narcotics scenarios.

A member of The 100 Black Men of Long Island, he also serves on the Vestry of the St. Georges Episcopal Church in Long Island, and on the board of directors of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Queens.

Griffith earned a bachelor of social sciences degree from the University of Guyana, a masters of arts degree in political science and public administration from Long Island University, New York, and both a master of philosophy and doctorate in political science from the City University of New York.

He also is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s educational leadership program.

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