James Odom Appointed Director Of Public Affairs

Jan. 4, 2002
News Photo 160James Odom

by Larry D. Brumley

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. recently announced the appointment of James Odom, a 1994 Baylor graduate, to the newly created position of director of public affairs, effective Jan. 7.

The Office of Governmental Relations becomes the Office of Public Affairs under a restructuring designed to expand the university's emphasis on cooperation with elected and non-elected public officials and entities at the federal, state and local levels. The office will report to Jerome R. Loughridge, chief of staff to President Sloan, and will play an important role in presidential strategy as it relates to Baylor 2012, the university's recently adopted 10-year vision.

Odom, a native of Lawton, Okla., graduated summa cum laude from Baylor with majors in economics and religion. He was a member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his master's degree in foreign affairs from Georgetown University in 1996 and served for three years as a policy analyst with then-Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri. In 2000, Odom was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from Oklahoma's fourth district.

"I am greatly honored to be able to work for Baylor University," Odom said. "Baylor had a profound impact on me as a student, and I look forward -- as a staff member -- to advancing Baylor's vision of excellence in Christian higher education."

Karen Wood, who has served for the past seven years as director of governmental relations, is leaving the university to pursue other interests.

"Karen Wood has for many years faithfully served Baylor and has been an asset to our lobbying efforts, particularly on several key state-level issues including the Tuition Equalization Grant," President Sloan said. "We wish her the very best in her future


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