Dean’s Office Staff

McCormack Graduate School Dean's Office Staff

Rita Kiki Edozie, Interim Dean, McCormack Graduate School, and Professor of Global Governance

Rita “Kiki” Edozie received her PhD in politics from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and for over 20 years, has been a teacher-scholar as well as an academic administrator of graduate education and undergraduate studies at Columbia University and more recently at Michigan State University where, as professor of international relations, she has been recognized for her scholarly productivity, teaching excellence, and outstanding community service. Edozie has authored eight books and several journal articles and book chapters in global development and African affairs. As interim Dean, Kiki is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, and financial operations of the College. In collaboration with the college’s leadership and faculty, she shapes the College’s future and articulates a compelling vision that will inspire engagement and financial support from external audiences. Internally, she encourages collaboration and continuous improvement, with a focus on undergraduate and graduate student success and support of faculty in research, scholarship, and creative activity. She encourages and supports a community committed to challenging oppression that is based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, ability, location in the academic hierarchy, and other forms of oppression, creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

Elizabeth Diaz

Elizabeth Diaz, Executive Assistant to the Dean

Liz Diaz has worked at the University of Massachusetts Boston for almost 25 years in several departments and colleges on campus in many capacities. She joined the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies in 2010. In her role as Executive Assistant to the Dean, she is responsible for a wide range of complex organizational, administrative, and professional duties. She provides support to the dean through schedule and calendar coordination, communication with University leaders and external entities, correspondence preparation and management, and various executive office support activities and special projects.

Assistant Dean of Budget and Operations, Carlos Henriquez

Carlos Henriquez, Assistant Dean for Budget and Operations

Carlos is McCormack’s chief budget, finance and operations officer. His position supervises grants administration, fiscal procurement transactions, personnel, operations and facilities management.  Carlos joined the McCormack Dean’s Office in 2018 from Tufts University where he held an appointment as Assistant Director of Budgets in the President’s Office. Carlos earned his MBA from Brandies University.

Christopher Graham

Christopher C. Graham,  Manager, Student Success &Undergraduate Advising 617.287.5579; 

As Manager for Students Success and Undergraduate Advising, Christopher works with students, faculty and staff to deploy various support services for student success, academic governance and community building events at the John W. McCormack Graduate School. Christopher is an alumnus of University of Massachussetts Boston having earned a Masters ‘16 and PhD ‘20 in Global Governance and Human Security with concentrations in Public Policy, International Relations and Political Economy. Christopher also was Coordinator for Academic Programs and Events, and was the inagural Program Assiatant for the Dean's Office Student Success (DOSS) Program. As a scholar and research scientist, Christopher researches the socio-ecological dimensions of climate change including climate displacement, environmental migration, and adaptive governance, technology, security and policy solutions. Christopher enjoys creating art and often blends his love of expressionist and abstract art with themes from his research. In his spare time, Christopher enjoys watching primer league soccer, playing basketball, and watching nature documentaries and historical movies.

Jamie Tull MGS Staff

Jamie Tull, College Business Coordinator

Jamie has worked at UMass Boston for almost 16 years in two departments and colleges on campus in various roles. Jamie joined the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies in 2019 as College Business Coordinator. Jamie is responsible for a wide range of organizational and administrative functions at the Dean’s Office that supports the mission of The McCormack School. Jamie also provides operational and administrative support to our various Departments, Centers and Institutes. Prior to coming to UMass Boston, she worked as an Accountant in the Banking Industry.

Gifty Debodes-Jackson, Dean's Office Program Assistant

As Dean’s Office Program Assistant, Gifty supports senior staff on McCormack academic programs including the Dean’s Office Student Success (DOSS), event organizing, and providing media and communications support. Gifty is also a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at UMass Boston.

Rashelle Straker

Rashelle A. Straker, Director of Academic Programs and Events

Rashelle Straker is an alumna of the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor's in fine art, concentrating in photography, art administration, cultural appropriation and representation of the Caribbean Diaspora, and the use of art as self-preservation. For the past 12 years, Rashelle has made a commitment as a higher education professional covering multiple aspects such as academic programs, events management, marketing, and recruitment. She has used her educational training and creative and leadership skills with acquired institutional knowledge to maintain and assist in the evolution of educational programs and students' experiences at reputable academic organizations. As the Director of Academic Programs and Events, she works closely with the dean, associate dean, department chairs and directors, faculty, staff, students, and university leaders in supporting the college’s academic affairs and programming responsibilities. Additionally, she supports the planning, promoting, executing, and evaluating for all events while providing guidance and support to the college’s 14 research institutes and 3 academic departments.

Christopher Brindley, IT Specialist
cell: 617.857.9351;

Chris has provided technical support to the McCormack Graduate School's faculty, staff, and students for 12 years. Previously, he worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and as a historical writer for The Canton Journal, Stoughton Journal, and The Sharon Advocate. Prior to coming to UMass Boston, he worked as a Microsoft certified Operating Systems Support and Networking trainer.





Balkissa Daouda Diallo, Senior Program Assistant 

Balkissa is the senior program assistant for the Africa Scholars Forum (ASF) and the McCormack Racial Equity Task Force (M-RET). She works with the Chairs of these two programs on operations and administrative functions. She is also a PhD Candidate in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston. Balkissa's research interests include Migration, Environment and Conflict Resolution. As a Fulbright Scholar from Niger, she obtained dual Masters degrees in International Development and Environmental Studies at Ohio University, and recently completed a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution at UMass Boston. Balkissa is also an instructor at the Osher Life Learning Institue (OLLI) at UMass Boston. 

Chae Man Lee  (Jay), Grants Research Fellow 

Chae Man Lee  (Jay) is a Grants Research Fellow at The McCormack Schol. He received his PhD in Gerontology from the UMass Boston in 2017, and since then has been working in grants administration and research as a Research Fellow in the Department of Gerontology. Jay is also a co-investigator on a healthy aging data report for New England and was a co-investigator on a healthy aging data report for Massachusetts and New Hampshire (2017-2018) as well as for Connecticut and Rhode Island (2019-2021) funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation.

Adam Mooney, Newsletter Writer/Communications Specialist  

Adam Mooney is a Staff Writer/Communication Specialist at the McCormack School. He is also a writer, English composition instructor, and graduate academic writing tutor in the English Departments. Adam completed his master’s in English literature at UMass Boston in 2019, specializing in queer and postcolonial literature and theory, and has since worked in writing and writing instruction at UMB and Lesley University. Adam exhibits a passion for academic writing, recognizing its concrete stakes in political and cultural discourse while attempting to broaden and make accessible its social impact. He holds office hours from 11–12 on Mondays and Fridays in Wheatley 6-91 and by appointment here.

Marcy Murninghan, Senior Advisor, Outreach and Engagement 

Marcy Murninghan is the Senior Advisor, Outreach and Engagement at the Dean’s Office. Marcy is a scholar-practitioner, writer, educator, public speaker, and entrepreneur with more than 40 years of experience concentrated on complex organizations, politics, and the integration of civic moral values into corporate, investor, and philanthropic governance and accountability. Her sensibilities were forged as a politician’s and journalist’s daughter in Lansing, Michigan, where family and community ties taught her that civic virtue could be lived every day, despite disagreements over style and substance. Marcy holds a doctorate from Harvard University (1983) with dissertation research on school desegregation and institutional reform. Marcy later moved into the corporate / investor responsibility realm, concentrating on social justice and South Africa. Marcy was among the first group of Fellows, but the only woman, named in 1983-84 by the then McCormack Institute. Read more about Marcy here.