New Leadership Team for the White House Initiative on HBCUs

President Obama has named the new leadership team for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Joining the White House Initiative as Executive Director is Dr. George Cooper, with Dr. Ivory Toldson joining as the Deputy Director. Both will start on September 16.

Executive Director

Dr. George Cooper was a Senior Fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where he reviewed key federal legislative initiatives of significance to HBCUs. Previously, he served four years as President of South Carolina State University. Prior to his HBCU service, Dr. Cooper spent 17 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. He has also served in administrative and faculty roles at Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University. Additionally, Dr. Cooper has served on a number of boards, including the Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the HBCU and Limited Resource Institution Academic Advisory Group, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and the USDA/1980 Task Force. He received his B.S. degree in Animal Husbandry from Florida A&M University, his M.S. degree in Animal Science from Tuskegee University, and his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois – Urbana.

Deputy Director

Dr. Ivory Toldson is an associate professor at Howard University, a senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” He spent 3.5 years on the faculty at Southern University and A&M College and over 8 years at Howard University. He has conceptualized, developed and authored the Breaking Barriers series for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which analyzes success indicators for school-aged Black males. Dr. Toldson was the lead author of The Quest for Excellence: Supporting the Academic Success of Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines. He received his B.S. degree in Psychology from Louisiana State University, his M.Ed. degree in Counselor Education from The Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. He also received formal training in applied statistics from the University of Michigan, and held visiting research and teaching appointments at Emory University, Drexel University and the Morehouse School of Medicine.