Oak Ridge City Manager Earns Doctorate Degree from UT

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (May 13, 2019) – Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson received his doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of Tennessee on May 9. Back in March, Dr. Watson successfully defended his dissertation titled “City Managers, Mayors and Councilmembers: Local Stability in Tennessee.”

“It has always been a belief of mine for continuous learning and being close to the University of Tennessee allowed me to fulfill the heights of my profession while learning new technical and research skills along the way,” Dr. Watson said. “I shall continue to use those skills in serving Oak Ridge in the years ahead. It has been quite a 7-year academic journey, while working full time as a city manager.”

Dr. Watson is a second-generation city manager and has served in that capacity with the City of Oak Ridge since 2010. He successfully supported the creation of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park, a new Peace Pavilion for the International Friendship Bell and renovations at both the Alexander Guest House and Historic Jackson Square.

Watson’s efforts have also brought about a much-needed revitalization of the city center with the Main Street Oak Ridge project. Additionally, Dr. Watson has spearheaded two major projects that are under construction right now: a new senior center and preschool for Oak Ridge.

Before taking his current position, Dr. Watson served as City Manager in six different cities since 1981. Those cities are spread across Texas, Montana and Arizona, ranging in population from 5,000 to 100,000. Dr. Watson worked actively in cities characterized as rural, suburban, urban, agricultural, military, international border, medical, aviation, and scientific communities. He is known worldwide and most recently was invited to be a U.S. local government policy guest lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing.

While attending UT’s doctoral program, Watson concentrated in the field of public administration and public policy. During that period of study, his work involved research in public administration theory and environmental policy as well as national, state and local government and international conflict resolution.

Dr. Watson received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. His alma mater recently recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in City Management. Watson was also recognized in 2017 by the International City/County Management Association for a 40-year career in public service.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 25, Chandler 21, and Naomi 11. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 9 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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