Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Programs Faculty of Business
BBA (UPEI); MBA (Windsor); PhD (Lancaster)
Dr. Melissa James is an Assistant Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Business and specializes in research, strategy, and marketing.
My research focuses on public sector marketing in two main areas, higher education and tourism. While these may seem to be divergent areas of study, they are linked by the concepts of consumer decision-making, branding, rankings, and organizational performance. I am particularly interested in the internationalization and marketization of higher education. I study the decision-making of higher education students, their experiences in higher education, and their expectation for employment. I also examine institutional performance in international marketing and recruitment by conducting international comparisons. Furthermore, I continue to examine aspects of tourism marketing and its impact on Prince Edward Island and other Atlantic Canadian provinces.
With a background in education and industry, I was appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism in 2007 for the Province of Prince Edward Island and CEO of Tourism PEI. In these roles, I orchestrated innovative strategies to position PEI as an international tourism destination, including major media events such as Live with Regis and Kelly, The Golf Channel’s Big Break, and the 2011 Royal Visit. In addition, I’ve lead strategic focus on the tourism sector on culinary and cultural tourism and was instrumental in the expansion of the Charlottetown Convention Centre and the development of the Charlottetown Events Centre. In 2011, I was appointed Deputy Minister for Innovation and Advanced Learning where I oversaw initiatives to support PEI’s long-term economic growth, particularly in the areas of business diversification, immigration, and labour market and skills development.