Justin Green rose at the FDA while completing his FAMU online MBA
The growth of Florida A&M University’s online degree programs was highlighted during the recent Florida Board of Governors March meeting at the Tallahassee campus.
FAMU grew from 40 online courses and three online degree programs in fall 2011 to 685 online courses and 13 fully online undergraduate and graduate programs in fall 2022, according to Office of Instructional Technology Director Franzetta Fitz, Ph.D.
The significance of that expansion was emphasized in the career story of Justin Green, assistant commissioner for criminal Investigations for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations. Green earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree online while faced with a myriad of family and professional challenges.
“I am a prime example that the business acumen, the ways to lead people and lead change, developing a results-driven mindset, ways to collaborate and build coalitions, and working together, that is taught here at Florida A&M University in-person and online, will help any student propel their career to the next level,” the Fort Lauderdale native told the Board of Governors BOG Innovation in Online Committee Tuesday, March 28. “The online MBA program was a rigorous program that provided me with the flexibility to continue working full-time.”
Green graduated from FAMU’s School of Business and Industry (SBI) in 2003 with a bachelor’s in accounting. In March 2012, he became a first-time dad of a premature daughter who was born at 28 weeks.
“Although I aspired of advancing in my educational goals and career, my first obligation was to my wife, and my newborn daughter,” Green told the BOG. “My family’s love for FAMU runs deep, and I wanted to continue my education at an institution that I could trust.
When he heard about FAMU’s online MBA program from Fitz, “It was an answer from God,” said Green, who started the online program in fall 2012 while he was a special agent/criminal investigator with the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation.
Fitz said on launching FAMU’s first fully online graduate degree programs, she overheard a student mentioning that their colleague wanted to continue his education at FAMU, but he was no longer living and working in Tallahassee.
“I quickly got his information and reached out to him, informing him of FAMU’s Online MBA program. He thanked me, applied, and became one of the first students to graduate from FAMU’s Online MBA program,” Fitz said of Green. “When the BOG Innovation in Online Committee chair asked me to invite a student to speak about their personal experiences in FAMU’s Online Program, without hesitation, I immediately thought of Justin Green. He did a phenomenal job and really reinforced the importance of providing students with the flexibility to balance their personal lives and careers, while obtaining their educational goals through the FAMU Online Education Program.”
In March 2013, while in his second semester of the online program, Green was promoted senior operations manager at the FDA headquarters office in Rockville, Maryland.
“Realizing the rigor that my new position demanded, I could have put my educational goals on hold. However, the support provided by the professors in my online program and Jackie Byrd, who is the coordinator for the Online MBA program, was phenomenal, and I did not give up,” Green said.
In November 2013, while learning a new job and going to school, he and his wife welcomed their second daughter.
“Now I had a wife, two kids, and a very demanding job. Who would not have said, ‘Let school wait?’ However, I did not give up,” he recalled.
After his graduation in 2014, Green was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of Headquarters Operations. In that position, Green provided managerial oversight to several headquarters’ components such as budget, investigations, facilities, human resources, and other personnel matters.
Two years later, Green’s educational background and the skills and work experience led to his promotion to special agent in charge of the Miami Field office. In that role, Green oversaw the daily activities of approximately 55 employees in the Southeast United States and Puerto Rico.
In 2020, he was promoted to the deputy director of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations.
Earlier this year, Green was promoted to assistant commissioner for criminal Investigations for the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, where he oversees and manages criminal investigations, all personnel matters, operational budget, and salaries for approximately 350 employees, both domestically and internationally.
“This Online MBA program accommodated my demanding lifestyle, while allowing me the opportunity to obtain my educational goals and positioning me for upward mobility in my professional career,” Green said. “This program allowed me to be a husband, a father, a career minded individual, all while providing a rigorous yet flexible way to earn an MBA.”