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Jasper Watkins III

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Jasper Watkins III[edit]

Jasper Watkins III is an elected official, retired[1] U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, and nuclear pharmacist who serves as District 3 Commissioner of Gwinnett County. His district includes Dacula, Grayson, Loganville, Snellville, and parts of Lawrenceville and the unincorporated areas surrounding those cities. Watkins was sworn in [2] on December 23, 2020, becoming the first African America[3] and person of color to represent District 3 on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.

Education and early career[edit]

Jasper Watkins III earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1982.[1] He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., an intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University.

After graduating, Watkins worked for about a year as a Non-commissioner Officer in Charge of Inpatient Pharmacy Services for the Walson Army Hospital at Fort Dix in New Jersey. In 1986, he became Supervisor of Satellite Pharmacies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

As he advanced further in his early career, he became Chief of Pharmacy Services at the Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic and the Pentagon U.S. Army Health Clinic where he served for two years starting in 1988. From 1992 to 1996, he moved back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to become Chief of Nuclear Pharmacy in the Department of Radiology.

To continue his early career, Watkins became Director of Operations and Support Directorate and Pharmacy Consultant for the U.S. Army Medical Material Agency at Fort Detrick in Maryland, until 1999, when he moved abroad to serve as Chief of the Department of Pharmacy at the 121st General Hospital in Yongsan, Korea.

Watkins decided to continue his education by pursuing a post-graduate degree, earning a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University in 2001. [1]

Watkins served from 2000 to 2002 as Assignment Officer and Career Manager for the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command in Virginia. After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon, he provided oversight[4] in the placement of wounded personnel.[2]

Professional Career[edit]

Pharmaceutical Management[edit]

Watkins’s professional career continued in 2002 when he became a Patient Safety Fellow with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Center on Patient Safety. After the completion of his one-year fellowship, he spent two years at the Office of the Surgeon General Directorate of Health Policy and Services as Deputy Army Pharmacy Program Manager for Patient Safety.

From 2005 to 2007, Watkins was Director of the Department of Pharmacy at the Martin Army Community Hospital. There, he assisted in emergency management, public health[5] interventions, and recovery operations for Hurricane Katrina. [2]

Watkins became Chief of the Bureau of Statewide Pharmaceutical Services for the Florida Department of Health where he served for five years. Later, he served as the Inpatient Clinical Staff Pharmacist at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center.

He retired from the Army after 25 years of service in 2014.

Academic and Professional Appointments[edit]

Watkins taught in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at his alma mater, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, from 1993 to 2020 and from 2006 to 2012 as Clinical Guest Lecturer for Pharmaceutical Forum and Clinical Assistant Professor, respectively.

He was also a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science from 1994 to 1997, and Associate Clinical Professor at Howard University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from 1993 to 2000.

Starting in 1992, Watkins was a Clinical Preceptor for the Nuclear Residency Program at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center until 2005. He was selected to be on the Advisory Board of the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy in 2008.

From 1993 to 1999, Watkins was program director of the Pharmacy Technician Training Program with Baltimore City Community College; he also served as Clinical Instructor of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry with The Goldebrain Group from 1998 to 2005.

At University of Florida, he was Clinical Assistant Professor for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from 2007 to 2012.

Watkins is currently a Clinical Instructor of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry at Health & Radiological Seminars, Inc.

Gwinnett County, Georgia District 3 Commissioner[edit]

Campaign and Election

Watkins began his career in government when he first ran for Gwinnett District commissioner in 2016[6]. He lost against former District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter, receiving 49% of the vote.

In 2020, Watkins decided to run again for Commissioner of District 3. His 2020 campaign[7] focused on what he called the “Three ‘T’ Platform – “transportation, transformation, and transparency”.

Watkins is quoted stating, “I am committed to exploring service enhancements that expand transit accessibility, to providing economic incentives that attract high growth industries; to benchmarking successful inclusionary zoning models, and to exploring water conservation improvements. Finally, I am committed to harnessing new technologies to make more information public in ways that enable people to both understand what their government does and to influence those decisions”.[4]

His 2020 campaign proved successful. He won[8] against Republican Ben Archer with nearly 59 percent of the vote.[5]


Watkins has focused his time as Commissioner on supporting veterans that reside in Gwinnett County.

“I always want to make sure, if there is an opportunity to help our veterans and our seniors with anything that we do, I want to make sure that opportunity is there, or at least it's heard,” he said. “I understand it's not always going to necessarily happen, but at least it's heard.[3]“And, for me to be a veteran on the commission and not bring that up, that's a disservice to my brothers and sisters. It would be a travesty for me to not ask ‘What about our veterans?’” [3]

Watkins has been a leading advocate[9] for Gwinnett County to become a Purple Heart County and championed the establishment of the Gwinnett Veteran and Family Service Center located in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Scientific Presentations and Research[edit]

Watkins has completed research in several different areas.

Published Manuscripts

Watkins’s published manuscripts surround the topic of pharmaceutics and medicine.

  • Introduction To the Pharmacy Profession[10]: Amnesia W. Lovett, Samuel K. Peasah, Hong Xiao, Gina J. Ryan: Jones & Bartlett Learning 2013; (Contributing Editor)
  • An ASHP Training Program for Army Pharmacist;[11] Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2003
  • Okeke CC, Watkins JW, Williams W, Medwick T, Bailey L, Grady LT; A Study of the Temperature and Humidity Variations in the Shipment and Distribution of Anthrax Vaccines[12]. Pharmacopeial Forum. 2000; 26, No.3.
  • Esophageal Passage of Iodine-131 Capsules[13]; Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, March 1997.

Accomplishments and Awards[edit]

Watkins is the first [14] African American in the armed forces and the state of Florida to achieve board certification through his participation in the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Nuclear Pharmacy Residency Program. [4] He is also the first black male commissioner of Gwinnett County.

He is currently a registered Pharmacist and licensed Nuclear Pharmacist with the Florida State Board of Pharmacy [AK5], and a licensed Consultant Pharmacist with the State of Florida Department of Health. Watkins has been board-certified as a Nuclear Pharmacist with the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties of the American Pharmaceutical Association.

Watkins is also a recipient of several honorable awards and military decorations including the United States Army “Legion of Merit”, Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists 2005 Wendell T. Hill Award, Order of Military Medical Merit awarded by the U.S. Army Medical Department, the Army Good Conduct Medal, and the Army Meritorious Service Medal.

Personal Life[edit]

Watkins moved to Gwinnett County in 2006. He currently lives in Grayson, Georgia with his wife. He has two adult children and two grandchildren.


  1. News, County (2022-05-27). "Gwinnett will honor fallen heroes at Memorial Day ceremony". Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  2., Curt Yeomans. "Incoming Gwinnett District 3 Commissioner Jasper Watkins says county is 'like a coming attraction' at swearing-in ceremony". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  3. "Georgia man makes bid to become county's first black commissioner". Reveal. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  4. curt.yeomans, Curt Yeomans. "Gwinnettians remember victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks on 20th anniversary". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  5. Watkins, III, Lt. Col. Jasper (2010). "ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION PARTNERSHIP" (PDF). National Institutes of Health the National Library of Medicine.
  6. "District 3 Commissioner Jasper Watkins III". Gwinnett. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  7. [1]
  8. "2020 General Election Results—Congratulations to the Winners | Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2023-03-24.
  9., Curt Yeomans. "Gwinnett County commits to recognizing Purple Heart recipients annually, starting this weekend". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  10. "[PDF] Annesha W. Lovett, PhD, MS, PharmD. Research Assistant Professor College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Mercer University - Free Download PDF". Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  11. Watkins, L. T. C. Jasper W. (2003-03-15). "An ASHP training program for Army pharmacists". American Journal of Health-system Pharmacy: AJHP: Official Journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 60 (6): 547. doi:10.1093/ajhp/60.6.547. ISSN 1079-2082. PMID 12659054.
  12. "A study of the temperature and humidity variations in the shipment and distribution of anthrax vaccine".
  13. Garcia-Peña, Edna; Caravalho, Joseph; Watkins, Jasper W.; Leifer, Eric S. (1997-03-01). "Esophageal Passage of Iodine-131 Capsules". Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology. 25 (1): 55–58. ISSN 0091-4916. PMID 9239606.
  14. Simmons, Katrelle (2007-09-05). "Rattler breaks down barriers". The Famuan. Retrieved 2023-03-23.

1.      “About Commissioner Watkins | Gwinnett County”. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

2.      “Jasper Watkins III | Political Profile”. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

3.      “Jasper Watkins bring a voice for veterans to Gwinnett County Commission”. Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

4.      “Commission District 3: Jasper Watkins III”. Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

5.      “Election Summary Report | General Election | Gwinnett County | November 3, 2020”. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

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