James Toscano is the Vice President for Public Affairs & Communications responsible for Marketing, Interactive Communications, Government Relations and College Events. He has spearheaded the creation and development of an “interactive communications” division within the college that focuses on dynamic communications tools and message delivery across multiple platforms, including web and social media. Toscano is a co-chair responsible for the top goal of the TCC strategic plan – the development of a strategic enrollment management system. Toscano served on the board of directors of the Old Dominion University (ODU) Alumni Association and, as a student, on the ODU Board of Visitors.
Toscano is a gubernatorial appointee to the governing commission of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), the regional public transit provider in Hampton Roads. He serves as commission Vice Chair. Before TCC, Toscano was Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications and Chief Communications Officer at HRT. At HRT, Toscano directed the public outreach activities of The Tide light rail system construction – the largest public works project in the history of the city of Norfolk – and directed the safety awareness marketing and communications campaigns. Toscano is also a former gubernatorial appointee to the Public Transit Seat on the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.
Toscano’s background in policy dates back to 2002 when he was a Governor’s Fellow under Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner in office of the Secretary of Technology, where he worked to promote COVITS, an international symposium on technology. For three years after, Toscano was legislative director to the Assistant Majority Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates, Bob McDonnell, who went on to become Governor. A student of Virginia policy, Toscano completed the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program at the University of Virginia.
Toscano got his start in media as an intern at the “Charlie Rose Show,” a nationally syndicated talk show, and at WAVY-TV News, where he was selected by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters as a Summer Scholar. He worked in promotions at WKJY-FM, a major New York radio station. Toscano was one of 20 national John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation scholarship winners for his work at WODU, ODU's college radio station, where he was station general manager for two years.
Named one of Inside Business magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40,” Toscano is active in the community and serves as a member of the board of directors of VisitNorfolk (the tourism bureau) and previously on the executive committee of the Virginia Transit Association Board of Directors.
Toscano is pursuing a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University in Boston and his research focuses on citizen participation and democracy through social media and other digital communications. Toscano was offered entry to the London School of Economics to study policy before earning a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of London. He holds a bachelor’s in communication from ODU.