Former two-time Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is taking her talents to Howard University as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics. The chair will be housed in the school’s Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center.

In her new role, Abrams “will foster interdisciplinary collaborations across the University on critical issues of race and Black politics, especially those issues that affect Americans of the African diaspora” as well as “inspire research and encourage broad discussions of scholarship for real-world solutions to complex, seemingly insoluble societal problems that adversely affect African diasporic communities and other vulnerable populations.”

She will also give leadership to Ronald W. Walters Speakers Series by inviting distinguished guests to lecture on a wide array of topics on the campus.

In an official statement, Abrams shared her excitement about her new position at Howard.

"I am honored to serve as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics, having had the privilege of knowing and learning from Dr. Walters,” Abrams said in a statement. “We are at an inflection point for American and international democracy, and I look forward to engaging Howard University's extraordinary students in a conversation about where they can influence, shape and direct the critical public policy decisions we face. From my alma mater, Spelman College, I have carved out a career that allows me to weave together policy analysis, political leadership, social justice, business, environmental, entertainment and more. Through this post, I hope to emulate Dr. Walter's diasporic lens on our world and be a part of how Howard University continues to contribute to the broader political discourse."

Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard, lauded Abrams for her significant contributions to politics and is anticipating her to have an immense impact on the storied HBCU’s student body.

“Stacey Abrams has proven herself an essential voice and eager participant in protecting American democracy—not just for certain populations, but for everyone with the fundamental right to make their voices heard,” Frederick said in a news release. “As the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair, Ms. Abrams’ selection not only honors the work and legacy of renowned political strategist and scholar Dr. Ronald Walters, it expands on that legacy by bringing Howard students in dialogue with a contemporary candidate whose work has directly influenced today’s political landscape.”

Abrams brings a wealth of experience to Howard on the national and state level. She graduated from Spelman College (magna cum laude) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies (political science, economics, and sociology) and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar in 1994. She went on to earn a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Yale University. After being hired by a major firm as a tax attorney, she was named the Deputy City Attorney for the city of Atlanta.

She began her career in politics as a state representative in the Georgia General Assembly from 2007-2017, becoming the first woman to lead either party in the Assembly. She also was the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. 

Abrams also made history as the first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the U.S. as Georgia's nominee in 2018.

A prolific writer, Abrams is the author of fifteen books, including Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America, Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, and Stacey’s Extraordinary Words .