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Jerry Emison

Dr. Jerry Emison

Office: Bowen Hall, Room 106
Phone: (662) 325-7865
Email: emison@pspa.msstate.edu

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Gerald Andrews Emison, Ph.D., PEDC, FAICP


Jerry Emison is a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Mississippi State University. At MSU he teaches city planning, public management and environmental policy. His research interests concern the effectiveness of public environmental institutions, professionalism in city planning and engineering, and environmental consequences of growth management.  He is the author or co-editor of three books: Practical Program Evaluations: Getting from Ideas to Outcomes (CQ Press 2006), Speaking Green with a Southern Accent (Lexington Press 2010) and True Green: Executive Effectiveness in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Lexington Press 2012). In addition he has authored over 30 professional journal articles/book chapters and 60 academic conference papers. He was chosen by students to be the departmental Professor of the Year in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2017. He served as a Fulbright Specialist to Cambodia in 2015.


Prior to joining MSU Jerry served in a number of senior executive positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Director of the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, as the Deputy Regional Administrator in Seattle and as the Director of the Program Evaluation Division in Washington, DC. Among his activities he was an architect of the Clean Air Act of 1990, supervised EPA’s clean up responsibilities at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and managed the Spotted Owl controversy for EPA. He was a member of EPA’s Quality Improvement Board and personally trained in TQM about 25% of EPA’s senior executives as well founding the first sustainable development program in EPA’ regions. As a result of his work at EPA he received the presidential rank designation for meritorious senior executive service.


He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He also holds additional graduate degrees in Regional Planning, Political Science and Engineering Management. His undergraduate work was in Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and was followed by service in the Seabees in Viet Nam. He is a registered professional engineer, a board-certified environmental engineer of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.


He has been married to Donna Kay Harrison for over forty years.  In his spare time Jerry competes in triathlons.  His other hobbies are conducting charity auctions, yoga, and reading history and philosophy. In his civic life he has served as chair, vice-chair or member of municipal land use, planning/zoning and open space commissions as well as serving on a number of special purpose task forces at the local government level; he most recently was chairman of the City of Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission. In 2013-2014 he served as the President of the Faculty Senate at Mississippi State University.

Contact Info

Department of Political Science
and Public Administration
Department Phone: 662.325.2711
Department Fax: 662.325.2716
Mailing Address: P. O. Box PC
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
Department Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Email address:polscipubadm@pspa.msstate.edu