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Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick

Dean Emerita and Professor of Education Policy
Howard University

Leslie T. Fenwick, PhD, is Dean Emerita and a tenured professor of education
policy at Howard University. During her tenure as dean, the Howard University
School of Education attained first-time ranking by U.S. News and World Report
as one of the nation’s top-100 schools/colleges of education. Dr. Fenwick is also
Dean in Residence at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher
Education (AACTE). A former Harvard University Visiting Fellow and Visiting
Scholar, Dr. Fenwick is a lifelong educator who has served in every sector of
American education. In 2020, Dr. Fenwick was one of two fully vetted finalists
for the U.S. Secretary of Education position.

She holds an appointment by U.S. President Joseph R. Biden to the Board of
Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where she has served since
2017 as a MCLC Senior Fellow lecturing about character leadership and ethics.

She is author of the award-winning and bestselling book Jim Crow’s Pink Slip
(Harvard Education Press, 2022). Jim Crow’s Pink Slip is recipient of the 2023
AACTE Gloria Ladson-Billings Outstanding Book Award and was selected as a National Public Radio (NPR) 2022 Book of the Day after being featured on the NPR program, All Things Considered. Additionally, Dr. Fenwick was selected as the 2023 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Brown Distinguished Lecturer in Education Research. She is also the 2024 Distinguished Lecturer for the 70 th Anniversary Program Commemorating the Brown Decision co-sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
and the NAACP.

A very public-facing scholar who has been described as “a fearless advocate for educational equity,” Dr. Fenwick’s research and op-ed articles have been cited in and published by the New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, Politico, Brookings Institution, National Academy of Education, and the Center for American Progress. She has been an invited keynoter at the National Press Club and appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, Yahoo! Finance News, Washington Post LIVE, and NPR. She is regularly called upon to testify at U.S. Senate hearings about federal education legislation.

Dr. Fenwick is member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the world’s third busiest museum. She earned her PhD at The
Ohio State University and bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia. She is recipient of the WEB DuBois Award for Outstanding Leadership in Higher Education.

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