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B. Vinson
Ben Vinson III, PhD | President

Howard University, President

The Howard University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Ben Vinson III, PhD as the 18th President of Howard University. 

Vinson is an accomplished higher education leader, historian of Latin America and the African Diaspora, and currently serves as Provost, Executive Vice President, and Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). He has a deep passion in studying and elevating the diversity of the African diaspora in academic spaces, for students and faculty alike. This marks a return to the Washington, D.C. area for Vinson, who previously served in leadership roles at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University.

During his time at CWRU, Vinson has spearheaded the university’s Think Big strategic planning initiative—which has received national attention for its innovative and inclusive planning process. He has also worked to increase collaboration and entrepreneurship on campus by naming an associate provost to the post of interprofessional education, research, and collaborative practice; and by appointing a founding director for the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship. He is Co-PI of the Humanities in Leadership Learning Series (HILLS) program, funded by a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to promote leadership development and diversity in the humanities.

He is chairman of the board of the National Humanities Center and member of the board of the National Humanities Alliance. He serves on the advisory board for Dartmouth’s Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and serves on the board of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He is a former member of the University Council for the United States International University-Africa (USIU).

Before coming to CWRU, he served on the faculties of Barnard College and Penn State before joining Johns Hopkins as a professor of history and founding director of its Center for Africana Studies. At Johns Hopkins he went on to serve as a vice dean for centers, interdisciplinary studies, and graduate education before becoming dean of George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Vinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate from Columbia University. He has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, National Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Mellon foundations.

To learn more about Vinson, please see the university’s announcement

Ernest Brooks and Ericka Miller led this search with Alycia Johnson and Becky Israel.