Joseph Watson, Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor in Public Affairs Communications, Advertising & Public Relations
Joseph Watson, Jr., the inaugural Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications, teaches class Feb. 15, 2017.

Joe Watson appointed Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications

Watson leads first-ever Public Affairs Communications program in the nation

The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced the appointment of Joseph Watson, Jr. as the first Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications. In this role, Watson will oversee the first program in the nation to provide students with practical training in the strategy and practice of public affairs communications focused on public policy and politics.

“The Tieger Professorship is the direct result of the vision and the generosity of Carolyn Caudell Tieger who wanted to give Grady students a leg up in public affairs communications careers,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “We are beyond thrilled to have someone of Joe’s experience join us to help bring this vision to fruition. Grady students for generations to come will benefit from this unique and timely program.”

Watson brings 20 years of experience in public affairs, campaigns, and communications to Grady College. He served as an appointee in President George W. Bush’s administration as a senior advisor to former U.S. Senator Peter G. Fitzgerald from Illinois, and also managed federal government affairs for Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 100 energy company, in Washington, D.C.  Most recently, Watson, a graduate of Harvard Law School, led Exelon’s Public Advocacy group, where he managed issue advocacy campaigns.

“I am both humbled and honored to serve as the first Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor,” said Watson. “This endowed professorship offers me the opportunity to teach and mentor the next generation of public affairs communicators at one of the nation’s leading journalism and communications schools. As someone who cares deeply about the future of our nation, I believe we need to do everything we can to encourage the best and the brightest to pursue careers in public affairs and to equip them with the skills they need to be successful.”

“I am delighted that Joe has been appointed to the professorship that bears my name,” said Tieger. “While students are more interested than ever in politics and public policy, there is no established curriculum, outside of Grady, that equips students with the ability to hit the ground running when entering jobs in these career fields.  Given Joe’s background and credentials, Grady has chosen the perfect person to lead this effort. There is no substitute for real world experience when it comes to preparing our students for jobs, and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to help Grady launch this program and even more thrilled to now have Joe there to shepherd it.”

Classes from the Public Affairs Communications program, together with classes from the Applied Politics program offered by the university’s School of Public & International Affairs, create the new Public Affairs Professional certificate curriculum.

Watson can be found on Twitter @ProfJoeWatson

Date: February 15, 2017
Author:  Joseph Watson, Jr.,  joseph.watson@uga.edu