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Dr. Jabari Si­mama, the chief of staff for DeKalb County’s CEO, was ap­proved to­day by the state board that over­sees the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia, af­firm­ing TCSG Com­mis­sioner Ron Jack­son’s choice.

Si­mama’s ap­point­ment is ef­fec­tive on Sept. 1. He fills the va­cancy left af­ter the re­tire­ment of Dr. Robin Hoffman in July 2011.

GPTC, which last year en­rolled 8,061 students, is the 11th-largest in­sti­tu­tion among the 25 TCSG col­leges. It serves DeKalb, Mor­gan, New­ton and Rock­dale coun­ties with a main cam­pus in Clark­ston, an­other cam­pus in Cov­ing­ton, five lo­cal cen­ters, and the Rock­dale Ca­reer Academy. The col­lege re­cently changed its name from DeKalb Tech­ni­cal Col­lege to bet­ter re­flect the wide area that it serves.

Si­mama has been the chief of staff for DeKalb County CEO Bur­rell El­lis since 2010. He is the chief pol­icy ad­vi­sor and se­nior of­fi­cer in the ex­ec­u­tive of­fice that serves 740,000 county res­i­dents and man­ages a $1.5 bil­lion bud­get and 7,000 em­ploy­ees. He was the county’s deputy chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer of de­vel­op­ment from 2009 to 2010.

Si­mama was the vice pres­i­dent for community de­vel­op­ment and ex­ter­nal re­la­tions at Bene­dict Col­lege in Columbia, S.C., from 2005 to 2009. Be­fore that, he was the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of community tech­nol­ogy for the city of At­lanta from 2000 to 2005. He served as the city of At­lanta’s chief of the of­fice of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions from 1998 to 2000.

His ca­reer in higher ed­u­ca­tion in­cludes teach­ing po­si­tions at the Ge­or­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Clark At­lanta Univer­sity, Mor­gan State Univer­sity, Univer­sity of Cincin­nati, and At­lanta Ju­nior Col­lege (now At­lanta Metropoli­tan Col­lege).

Si­mama held elected of­fice as a mem­ber of the At­lanta City Coun­cil from 1987 to 1993. He also served as an ap­pointed mem­ber of the Metropoli­tan At­lanta Olympic Games Author­ity, which pro­vided fi­nan­cial over­sight for the At­lanta Olympic Games Com­mit­tee’s $2 bil­lion bud­get.

Jack­son said that he was im­pressed with Si­mama’s ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge of the community, and vi­sion for the col­lege. “Dr. Si­mama has a strong back­ground in man­age­ment that crosses a broad spec­trum of ex­ec­u­tive roles in higher ed­u­ca­tion, gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the pri­vate sec­tor. His di­verse ex­pe­ri­ence, cou­pled with his deep ties to the lo­cal community and a strong pas­sion for higher ed­u­ca­tion, will en­hance Ge­or­gia Pied­mont Tech­ni­cal Col­lege’s mis­sion to de­liver a highly-skilled work­force for the re­gion’s busi­nesses and in­dus­tries,” said Jack­son.

Si­mama has a Ph.D. in Amer­i­can stud­ies from Emory Univer­sity. He earned his mas­ter’s from At­lanta (now Clark At­lanta) Univer­sity and his bach­e­lor’s from the Univer­sity of Bridge­port.

Jack­son also stated his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the work of the GPTC Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Larry Teems, who has been the col­lege’s act­ing pres­i­dent for the last 12 months.

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