James Markham Named UNC’s Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy

James Markham

Faculty member James Markham was named the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy. The award is a five-year term professorship that honors faculty members who have contributed in the area of public policy, available only to faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Social Work, Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the School of Government. Markham’s area of expertise is criminal law and procedure with a focus on the law of sentencing, corrections, and conditions of confinement.

“Jamie was an was an enthusiastic and unanimous recommendation,” said School of Government Dean Mike Smith. “The committee was impressed with his work on the Justice Reinvestment Act as well as his creative teaching tools, including a graphic novel, a mobile application, and a YouTube channel. I am excited and humbled that the professorship is at the School for another five years.”

Markham has written several books including The North Carolina Juvenile Reinvestment Act and the annual North Carolina Sentencing Handbook. He collaborated on the School’s first graphic novel, In Prison, a resource for incarcerated individuals and their family members. He teaches both judges and magistrates as well as attorneys and clerks of court about sentencing, probation, and other aspects of criminal procedure. Markham writes for the N.C. Criminal Law Blog, hosts a YouTube channel  called Sentencing Whiteboard, and has more than 4,000 followers on Twitter.

Markham was named Albert and Gladys Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor for 2015–2017. Markham earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Harvard College and a law degree with high honors, Order of the Coif, from Duke University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Duke Law Journal. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar. Prior to law school, Markham served five years in the United States Air Force as an intelligence officer and foreign area officer.

The professorship was created by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to honor its long-time executive director, Tom Lambeth, who worked for Governor Terry Sanford and who has dedicated his life to public service for North Carolina.  Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation noted Lambeth’s devotion and record of service to UNC, where he served as chair of the board of trustees, president of the alumni association and board member for numerous University and school committees. The professorship was chosen “as an appropriate way to honor him and express appreciation and respect for his leadership.”

Markham succeeds School faculty member Aimee Wall, who held a Lambeth professorship for the previous five years. Wall specializes in social services law as well as animal control law. She also coordinates educational programs for legislators and legislative staff.

Three other faculty were named Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy: Noreen McDonald in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Karla Slocum in the Department of Anthropology, and Erika Wilson from the School of Law.