Dr. Cole served as president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women. She is the only person to have served as president of these two historically Black colleges for women in the United States. She is also Professor Emerita of Emory University from which she retired as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies and African American Studies.
fter one year in an early entrance program at Fisk University and completing her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, Johnnetta Cole earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University with a focus on African Studies. Dr. Cole made history in 1987 when she became the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College.
From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Cole was the Chair of the Board of United Way of America, the first African American to serve in that position. She has served on the corporate boards of Home Depot, Merck and Nation’s Bank South. She was the first woman to serve on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Dr. Cole currently chairs the board of the National Visionary Leadership Project and she is on the board of KaBOOM! She is on the Advisory Committee of America’s Promise and Points of Light Foundation. Dr.Cole is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., and the National Council of Negro Women.
Dr. Cole is married to James D. Staton Jr. She is the mother of three sons and one step-son, and she has three grandchildren.
President Emerita of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women; President, Bennett College for Women (July 2002 through May 2007); Chairman, The JBC Institute for Global Diversity and Inclusion; Member and Past Chair, Board of Trustees, United Way of America; Member, Council on Foreign Relations and National Council of Negro Women; Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Anthropological Association.more » « less