Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, a woman with extensive higher education experience who is adept at the inner workings of HBCUs. On December 11, 2019, she was appointed as a National Senior Fellow to the Council Exchange Board of Trade to ignite the HBCU ecosystem. In this role, she is serving as the National Executive Director of Higher Education. In 2018, Dawkins was appointed by President Donald J. Trump to serve on the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This prestigious appointment means that she has a seat at the table when the President and the Secretary of Education are advised on all matters pertaining to strengthening the educational capacity of HBCUs.
She was the Eighteenth President of Bennett College for nearly three years (including Interim year). Bennett College went through a dramatic transformation under Dawkins’ leadership. Enrollment and retention increased yearly. Moreover, the College gained national prominence because of Dawkins’ efforts to lead a successful bipartisan legislative effort. The legislation that Dawkins’ spearheaded with UNCF enabled Bennett and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities to get deferments on payments to the HBCU Capital Finance Loan Program, which over a six-year period will result in $8.9 million that Bennett will use to stabilize financially, invest in capital improvements and continue growing enrollment.
Among her numerous awards, in 2019 Dawkins was presented with The Trailblazer Award by the Higher Leadership Foundation (HELF), the Village Legacy Award by AFRAM, Leading Lady Award presented by Student Leadership and Engagement, Johnson C. Smith University, Angel Award Certificate, Bennett College, Department of Campus Life, International Women’s Day Award at BC, Leadership Award by the Links Incorporated, DC Chapter, City of Greensboro Resolution for the #StandWithBennett Campaign. In 2018 Dawkins was recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential African-Americans in the Piedmont Triad by Black Business Ink Magazine during the 2108 State of Black North Carolina Conference. In 2017, Dawkins received the National HBCU Pre-Law Summit Special Recognition Award. In 2016, she was recognized as an Outstanding JCSU Alumni Woman and received the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award.
Dr. Dawkins received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Master of Arts from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Bachelor of Science from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.