Dr. Valerie Patterson named Director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS)

Dr. Valerie Patterson, clinical professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration, has been named Director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) at FIU.

A vital part of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, the African and African Diaspora Studies Program is one of the leading programs in the United States engaged with the study of the peoples of continental Africa and of communities of the African diaspora throughout the world.

As director, Dr. Patterson brings the deep commitment to service, teaching and research that has been her hallmark since she joined the faculty as a visiting professor in 1994. Well-known among students and colleagues for her openness, professionalism and compassion, Dr. Patterson is a bridge builder and one of FIU’s most effective ambassadors to Miami’s diverse communities.

During her tenure as a member of the board of directors of the Saint John Community Development Corporation in Overtown, she brought FIU into the community. She has also served as a Faculty Fellow and Resident Artist for KROMA Art Gallery in Coconut Grove. She has collaborated with several community-based organizations including The Historic Hampton House. Most recently, as a member of the host planning committee she worked to bring the Association of African American Museums meeting to Miami, now postponed until 2021. On the national level, Dr. Patterson is a past chair of the Section on Historical, Artistic, and Reflective Expression (SHARE) of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) and currently serves on the SHARE editorial board. She has served as a mentor in the Mandela Washington Fellows program, is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Miami-Dade County Ethics Task Force and board of the South Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Patterson was recently named one of the three Equity and Diversity Chairs at the university, in recognition of her commitment to equality and inclusion.

Her most recent research examines government and its relationship with underserved communities and persistent social equity barriers in communities of color. She has participated in several of the university’s recent events examining the issue of race in America, including speaking of her family’s deep ties to the community and experience of anti-Blackness in Miami.