Meet our faculty, staff and partners

Leisha G. LaRiviere, MPA, Ph.D. Candidate
Leisha G. LaRiviere, MPA, Ph.D. CandidatePrincipal Investigator, Associate Director of SPIA – Richmond Campus; Director of the Graduate Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Financial Management, Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Non-Government Organizations Management, and the Virginia Management Fellows Program

Professor LaRiviere is Associate Director of SPIA for the Virginia Tech Richmond campus. She leads the SPIA academic initiatives emphasizing community-based research, sponsored programs, and government leadership and management development initiatives. Professor LaRiviere is Principal Investigator for a multi-million-dollar research portfolio, engaging faculty and graduate students in all research phases. She also is Director of the Graduate Certificate for Public and Nonprofit Financial Management and the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Management. Professor LaRiviere teaches core courses for the Master of Public Administration degree, situated in the Center for Public Administration & Policy (CPAP). Courses taught include personnel-related processes and policies, public management behavioral skills, management systems, and graduate student capstone projects. Collaborating with faculty in Blacksburg, the National Capital Region (Alexandria and Arlington), and Richmond, she develops public partnerships, strategic research opportunities, and special lecture series. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Planning at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS).
Professor LaRiviere is the Director of the Virginia Management Fellows (VMF) program, an innovative training partnership with SPIA and the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also leads the Virginia Public Sector Leader (VPSL) program, a theory-to-practice management and leadership program designed for state agencies and NGOs. Experienced in nonprofit organizational development and policy advocacy, Professor LaRiviere is a former President & CEO of a major regional nonprofit. where she successfully advocated Virginia’s General Assembly for community land trust development law. Her research interests include policy and practice in government and NGO professional development; organizational theory and context; and facilitative and participative leadership. Professor LaRiviere is a Ph.D. candidate in public administration and policy and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Montevallo.

Andrew Sharp, Ph.D.
Andrew Sharp, Ph.D.VMF Program Manager

Andrew Sharp has a broad and diverse experience in higher education – having served in faculty and/or leadership positions at the University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, University of Richmond, South University, and Virginia Commonwealth University – and in state and local government in Virginia and Ohio. He received his PhD from the University of Birmingham (UK) and holds graduate degrees from the University of Virginia and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. He has published his own independent research (with Brill, Routledge, Oxford University Press, etc.) in the fields of international relations, religious studies, and global ethics and has managed collaborative research efforts in higher education and the public sphere. At the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture he managed the Thriving Cities Project, which looked at how history, education, public health, and government systems impact American cities. In positions with state and local government, he utilized research and design thinking models and leveraged strategic collaborations to author Virginia’s first Refugee Resettlement Program Manual, write over 100 staff policy and procedures for 165 social services employees across the Commonwealth, and offer in-service training sessions on ethics, leadership, and teamwork skills. Andrew comes from a family of teachers and enjoys working directly with students as an instructor or trainer using active learning approaches in traditional, online, and hybrid environments. He has helped undergraduates learn the fundamentals of research and served as an advisor for doctoral dissertations. He has dedicated much of his life and career to multicultural engagement, interreligious dialogue, and deep listening with compassion, which he believes are key components of a thriving civil society.

Cecily Peeples Rodriguez, MPA, CDE
Cecily Peeples Rodriguez, MPA, CDE Manager of Applied Research, School of Public and International Affairs, Adjunct Faculty, Center for Public Administration and Policy.

For 30 years, Cecily has been developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and programs that address equity and access in the human services sector. Currently, she is responsible for developing and implementing interventions designed to advance social equity in public sector management. Additionally, she is one of several members of the SPIA Richmond Campus team who works to shape and manage state government and non-profit research initiatives and program evaluations. Current projects include curriculum development and knowledge transfer for a national behavioral health interpreter training program, conference presentations at the National Systems of Care Conference, a project with the National Hispanic/Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center on behavioral health and wellness in agricultural communities; the design and implementation of a racial equity review program at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and a diversity, equity, and inclusion evaluation and planning project with the American Research Center in Egypt. Along with her duties as manager for applied research, she also teaches courses related to social equity and policy evaluation at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy. Cecily recently wrapped up her year-long appointment as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
She came to Virginia Tech from the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) where she was the Director of Refugee Health Services Division. She was responsible for executive leadership of grant and contract-related planning and implementation for new state health and wellness programs; development, management and oversight of program budgets totaling more than $30 million annually. During previous service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Cecily was the Director of the Office of Health Equity Advancement and Workforce Development at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). There, she led the agency’s response to disparities in behavioral health and developmental services. She was responsible for developing and implementing numerous programs and initiatives designed to increase health equity in the agency. She teaches courses on social equity and cultural competence at CPAP. Cecily is a recognized equity and diversity expert with national certification as a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE). She is a member of the SAMSHA supported National Network for the Elimination of Disparities (NNED) Steering Committee and serves as the chair of the Equity and Inclusion Committee on the Board of the Health Brigade, a free clinic serving the greater Richmond area. She has a degree in political science with a minor in international relations from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Virginia Tech.

Sheryl D. Bailey, Ph.D.
Sheryl D. Bailey, Ph.D.Visiting Professor of Practice, School of Public and International Affairs

Dr. Sheryl Bailey has nearly 30 years of experience in administration and finance as a senior executive in state and local government and the private sector, including gubernatorial cabinet and state authority director experience in Virginia, as well as extensive higher education experience. She currently serves as Visiting Professor of Practice and Adjunct Faculty in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech and as Principal of Forward Strategies Consulting, LLC. At Virginia Tech, she has taught several graduate courses since Spring 2014 in the Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (PNPFM) Graduate Certificate Program and the Center for Public Administration and Policy and served on the founding advisory committee for the PNPFM program. Also, Dr. Bailey has provided regular Economic Update presentations since April 2020 to the statewide Local Government Finance Network currently hosted bi-weekly by Virginia Tech; designed, organized, recruited panelists, moderated, and presented in several professional development training workshops and webinars conducted by Virginia Tech on behalf of the Virginia Government Finance Officers Association; and served as a presenter in the Virginia Public Sector Leaders Program.

Dr. Bailey formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, with approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She has been active for many years in the International City/County Management Association, the Government Finance Officers Association, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and their state affiliates, having held leadership positions, served on several national and state task forces and committees, and presented regularly at national and regional conferences and programs. Dr. Bailey achieved her Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in Economics from Norfolk State University and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Economics from Harvard University. She has served as a Visiting Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and on the faculties of Harvard, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion and Hampton Universities; the College of William and Mary; and Virginia Tech.

Camden South
Camden SouthOffice & Student Experience Manager - Richmond campus

Camden South is the Office & Student Experience Manager (OSEM) for the School of Public & International Affairs (SPIA) on the Richmond campus. As OSEM, Camden is responsible for daily management, organization, and coordination of the administrative activities and procedures of the SPIA Richmond Campus. Supporting, coordinating, and participating in faculty research activities is also a part of Camden’s role. Past research activities include service as SPIA Richmond research personnel on two strategic planning efforts for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Camden’s OSESM role includes student services for Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP). Previously, Camden interned for the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, giving him the opportunity to learn about the intersectionality of people and the planned, built environment. Camden began his Master of Public Administration degree program with CPAP. SPIA Richmond faculty and staff look forward to Camden’s MPA degree defense in Spring of 2021.

Jennifer Quam-Howell
Jennifer Quam-HowellSpecial Projects Coordinator

Jennifer Quam-Howell is Special Projects Coordinator for Virginia Tech’s School of Public & International Affairs on the Richmond campus. Jennifer has a twenty-year career in the hospitality, catering, event production, and event-management industry. Previous roles include Director of Sales at Blue Ridge Catering in Roanoke, Virginia and the Senior Event Designer at Catering by Design in Denver, Colorado. Jenn is committed to public service with a people-focused orientation. She was appointed Social Chair for the Queensmill Recreation Association Board in 2019, serving a three-year term. Jenn holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with Minors in Communications and Sociology from Virginia Tech, and an A.S. in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, Denver Campus. Jenn is a graduate student in the Virginia Tech Nonprofit and N.G.O. Management Certificate program. Originally from Roanoke, Jenn lives in the Richmond area with her husband of 14 years, Paul, with their three sons and three dogs.

Andrea Briceno – Mosquera, P.hD.
Andrea Briceno – Mosquera, P.hD.Postdoctoral Associate - Richmond campus

Andrea Briceno – Mosquera was appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate for the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) on the Richmond campus. The Postdoc role focuses on quantitative and qualitative analysis protocols related to original research of the SPIA Richmond Principal Investigator. The research includes implementation science studies and longitudinal evaluation of succession management activities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Andrea holds her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs at the Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) at Virginia Tech. In both her academic and professional trajectories, she has focused on quantitative and qualitative analyses examining policy-making processes and evaluations from an equity and inclusion approach. She has taught courses in economic foundations and policy design and served as a research program coordinator at private Colombian universities. During her professional work with the Colombian government at the national and local levels, she evaluated policies aimed to address several needs from minority groups. At the international level, she interned at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C., supporting the evaluation of projects addressing practices of inclusion, diversity, and equity across Latin American countries. Andrea was named a 2019 Equity and Inclusion Fellow of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).
Andrea holds a master’s degree in Government and Public Policy from the Externado University of Colombia in partnership with the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University, NY, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the National University of Colombia.

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, P.hD.
Mehrzad Boroujerdi, P.hD.Director of the School of Public and International Affairs

Mehrzad Boroujerdi is Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. From 1992 to 2019, he was a professor of Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Dr. Boroujerdi is the author of Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism (Syracuse University Press, 1996), and I Carved, Worshiped and Shattered: Essays on Iranian Politics and Identity [in Persian] (Nashr-e Negah-e Mo`aser, 2010). He is also the co-author of Postrevolutionary Iran: A Political Handbook (Syracuse University Press, 2018), and editor of Mirror for the Muslim Prince: Islam and Theory of Statecraft (Syracuse University Press, 2013). In addition, he has authored more than thirty journal articles and book chapters in English and Persian. Dr. Boroujerdi has also been a visiting scholar at UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (2017-18), President of the Association for Iranian Studies (2012-2014), member of the board of directors of the Near East Foundation (2010-19), co-founder of the Iran Data Portal (2009-present), a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. (2005-16), the book review editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (2000-07), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin (1991-92), and a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (1991-92). Mehrzad Boroujerdi is Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. He is the author of Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism (Syracuse University Press, 1996), co-author of Postrevolutionary Iran: A Political Handbook (Syracuse University Press, 2018), and editor of Mirror for the Muslim Prince: Islam and Theory of Statecraft (Syracuse University Press, 2013).