Edwards heads Johnson Center

February 12, 2011
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James Edwards, a veteran of local community mental health authority Network 180, has been appointed as executive director of Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

He has been director of the center’s Community Research Institute and an assistant professor of social work at GVSU since 2003. He replaces Kathy Agard, who retired at the end of 2010.

Edwards said he expects to continue the direction that Agard set for the center, which has 30 employees and conducts research and training about nonprofits, foundations and grant-making.

Edwards was program director for the Network 180 Access Center, and has been a foster care worker, juvenile court probation officer and investigator for the county Family Drug Court Task Force. He also assisted with the expansion of mental health home-based services in Kent County, and served for five years as a board member for the Arbor Circle Corp.

“I think the work that I’ve done in the nonprofit side, particularly the human services side, is really a nice tie-in to the interests of the philanthropic area,” Edwards said. 

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