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James Toscano

Vice President for Public Affairs & Communications, Tidewater Community College

Dr. Toscano is a communications and policy executive, award-winning researcher, author, speaker, and occasional blogger. Toscano is a contributor to Governing and a frequent speaker on the topic of social media legitimacy.

Toscano is vice president for public affairs and communications at Tidewater Community College, the 11th largest two year college in the nation. Before this post, Toscano was chief communications officer at Hampton Roads Transit where he directed the public involvement program for the construction of Virginia’s first light rail system in Norfolk.

Toscano’s background in public policy began as a governor’s fellow in the office of the Virginia secretary of technology under Gov. Mark R. Warner before becoming legislative director to Bob McDonnell, the assistant majority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates who went on to be elected governor. Toscano, who is a gubernatorial appointee, serves as chair of the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads. A student of Virginia policy and politics, Toscano completed the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program at the University of Virginia.

Toscano holds a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of London. His research has focused on citizen participation through digital means and the development of analytical tools for organizations involved in social media. He authored a chapter on social media in the forthcoming book “Citizen Engagement and Public Participation in an Era of New Media.”

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