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Alpha Phi Alpha’s Dr. Mark Brown Named 10th President of Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University has announced the appointment of Dr. Mark Brown, an alumnus from the class of 1986, as the institution’s 10th president and chief executive officer. This historic appointment marks the first time in Tuskegee’s nearly 143-year history that an alumnus will lead the university. Dr. Brown will officially assume his new role on July 1.

According to the press release issued by the university, the Board of Trustees approved Dr. Brown’s nomination after considering several highly qualified candidates to succeed Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service. The search, managed by the firm Storbeck, involved a confidential process that included input from trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

“The Board of Trustees conducted a thorough search process, considering candidates from across the nation, and was impressed by Dr. Brown’s vision, expertise, and passion for higher education,” said Norma Clayton, Chair of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees. “Working with the Board, we are confident that he will provide a clear vision, direction, strong leadership, and guidance to evolve and grow the university.”

Dr. Brown’s extensive executive experience includes roles at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and the Robert and Edith Broad Academy for Urban School Superintendents, now hosted at the Yale School of Management.

Dr. Mark Brown’s journey at Tuskegee University began with his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in accounting, which he completed in 1986. As a student, he was actively involved in the university community, participating in the Air Force ROTC program and according to his LinkedIn, as the chapter president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. According to his undergraduate chapter, the Gamma Phi Chapter, he is a Fall 1983 initiate of the fraternity.

An accomplished educational leader, Dr. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tuskegee, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy University, a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the Air Command and Staff College, a Master’s in National Security Strategy from the National War College, and a doctorate in Education from Baylor University.

Dr. Brown’s career includes significant global experience and leadership roles within the Department of Defense. His assignments have spanned the Philippines, Spain, England, Turkey, and Iraq, including deployments supporting Operation Provide Comfort. He also served as the Assistant Executive Officer for the 17th Air Force Chief of Staff and the Financial Management Senior Military Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

During his tenure as a Major General in the Air Force, Dr. Brown served as Deputy Commander of Air Education and Training Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. His command responsibilities included the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered Air Forces, and two graduate and doctoral degree-granting universities: Air University and the Air Force Institute of Technology. AETC operates more than 1,400 aircraft and trains over 293,000 Airmen annually.

After retiring from the Air Force with 32 years of service, Dr. Brown served as the chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid, managing a lending portfolio equivalent to that of the nation’s five largest consumer lending banks. Most recently, he was the president and chief executive officer of the Student Freedom Initiative, a vision of billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith to eliminate the student loan debt of the Morehouse College class of 2019.

“I am grateful and humbled by the Board of Trustees, Faculty, Alumni, Students, Community Leaders, and all of Mother Tuskegee for the opportunity to return home to lead our University into the second quarter of the 21st Century,” said Dr. Brown. “Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Morris, I am convinced that Tuskegee is well positioned to continue its global impact by producing students ready for leadership in our rapidly changing world, yet grounded in the journey of our forefathers. Gwen and I can’t wait to get started!”

“The Board’s nomination reflects our confidence that Dr. Mark Brown is the right leader to sustain and enhance Tuskegee University’s momentum as one of our nation’s top universities,” said Trustee and alum Jonathan Porter, who chaired the search committee. “Dr. Brown has the right combination of experience and innovative thinking that will propel TU to the next level nationally and globally. I appreciate his commitment to serving his alma mater and his dedication to improving the lives of its students.”

The Board of Trustees also issued a statement: “On behalf of the entire Tuskegee family, we extend a warm welcome to Dr. Brown and his family. We look forward to working together toward the success of the university and the broader Tuskegee community.”