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Press Release  
Release Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:17 PM
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Kerry-Ann Hamilton, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President
University Communications
Howard University Board of Trustees Announces
Presidential Search Committee 

Trustee Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. to Chair Search for 17th President
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

Trustee Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Esq., is Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

WASHINGTON (Monday, Jan. 13, 2014) –The Howard University Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of a Presidential Search Committee that will play an active role in the selection of the University’s 17th president. Trustee Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Esq., was appointed chair. 

“A deliberative search process offers an important opportunity to understand and clarify the priorities and challenges of the University, to unify key stakeholders, and to plan the future course,” said Board Chairman Addison Barry Rand. “The selection of the 17th President of Howard University is the most important task the Board of Trustees has before it.  I thank the Search Committee for assisting us in fulfilling our guardianship of the national treasure we call Howard University.”

The Presidential Search Committee, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will develop an inclusive and transparent search process. The committee is charged with recommending to the Board as soon as feasible, candidates who are best qualified to lead Howard University as its next president.

“For nearly 150 years, Howard has been at the forefront of producing the world’s leading scholars, researchers and architects of social justice,” Mr. Jordan said. “I am honored to chair the search to identify the most qualified person to lead this prestigious University.”   

Mr. Jordan has served on the Howard University Board of Trustees since 1993. He is a senior managing director of Lazard Freres & Co. LLC in New York and senior counsel in the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, DC. He earned a B.A. degree from DePauw University and a J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law. Mr. Jordan was chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team and is a former President of the National Urban League and former Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund. His directorships include:  Lazard Ltd; American Express Company (Senior Advisor); Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; and Xerox Corporation (Senior Advisor).  He is a member of the Arkansas Bar, District of Columbia Bar, Georgia State Bar, US Supreme Court Bar, American Bar Association, National Bar Association, American Law Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, and The Bilderberg Meetings. He holds honorary degrees from more than 70 colleges and universities in America, and he is the author of Vernon Can Read!  A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2001) and Make It Plain, Standing Up and Speaking Out (Public Affairs, 2008).  In 2007, his portrait was unveiled in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Great Hall.

In addition to Trustee Jordan, the other members of the Presidential Search Committee are:

Benaree P. Wiley—Alumna; Trustee; Principal of The Wiley Group; and Chair, Board 2014 Transition Committee

Kelechi C. Anyanwu—President of the Howard University Graduate Student Assembly and Third-Year Doctoral Student in the Counseling Psychology Program
Edward E. Cornwell III, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.C.C.M—Alumnus; Surgeon-in-Chief/Professor, and Chairman of Surgery, Howard University Hospital

Lorraine N. Fleming, Ph.D., P.E.—Alumna; Interim Dean, College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences; 1999 Chair of the University’s Middle States Accreditation Self-Study Committee; and 2015 Chair of the Middle States Mid-Term Review Committee

Leslie Hale—Alumna; Trustee; and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of RLJ Lodging Trust
The Honorable Kamala D. Harris—Alumna and Attorney General of the State of California

The Honorable Danette G. Howard—Alumna and Secretary of Higher Education, State of Maryland

Marian Johnson-Thompson, Ph.D.—Alumna; Trustee; and Professor Emerita of Biology, University of the District of Columbia

Robert L. Lumpkins—Trustee; Chairman of the Board of The Mosaic Company; and retired Vice Chairman of Cargill, Incorporated

Mark A. L. Mason—Alumnus; Trustee; and Chief Executive Officer of Citi Private Bank

Stacey J. Mobley, Esq.—Alumnus; Trustee; and Senior Counsel, Dickstein Shapiro, LLP

Dominique C. Perkins—Vice President, Howard University Student Association

James K. Pleasant—Director, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Services, Department of Physical Facilities Management, Howard University

The Honorable M. Kasim Reed—Alumnus; Trustee; and Mayor of the City of Atlanta

Frank Savage—Alumnus; Chief Executive Officer of Savage Holdings LLC; and Chairman Emeritus, Howard University Board of Trustees

Dana A. Williams, Ph.D.—Alumna and Chair of the English Department, Howard University

Mercedes Vidal Tibbits, Ph.D., Undergraduate Faculty Representative, Howard University Faculty Senate

Carolyn Whitfield Broome, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty Representative, Howard University Faculty Senate


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's website at

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