Council of Presidents

George T. French

, Ph.D.

Chair of the Council of Presidents

Dr. French is the fifth president of Clark Atlanta University. He previously served as president of Miles College from 2005-2019. In addition to chairing the AUCC Council of Presidents, he also chairs the Council of Presidents of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and serves as secretary of member presidents and chair of accreditation for UNCF and vice-chair of the board of directors for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. He also serves on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. He co-founded the Higher Education Leader Foundation.

Mary Schmidt Campbell

, Ph.D.

President, Spelman College

Dr. Campbell is the 10th president of Spelman College. Prior to arriving in Atlanta, Dr. Campbell was a major force in the cultural life of New York City. She led the Studio Museum in Harlem, served as the city’s cultural affairs commissioner and has served as dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Former President Barack Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the boards of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the High Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Trust as well as on the advisory boards of the Bonner Foundation and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Valerie Montgomery Rice


President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Montgomery Rice is the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution. Among faculty and leadership positions she held prior to joining MSM, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. She was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and received the 2017 Horatio Alger Award. For three consecutive years (2016-2018) Georgia Trend Magazine selected Montgomery Rice as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. She is a member of the board of directors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, The Nemours Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Westside Future Fund, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Headspace, Wellpath and CARE.

David A. Thomas

, Ph.D.

President, Morehouse College

Dr. Thomas is the 12th president of Morehouse College. Under his administration, the college raised $107 million last fiscal year—a giving total that is higher than any other president in the history of the college. He has more than 30 years of experience in the business of higher education and is nationally respected as an expert in organizational change. He has served as dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and is a former business school professor at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. Thomas has used his platform as president of Morehouse to speak out against injustice as the nation faces two pandemics—COVID-19 and the persistence of systemic racism.  Under his guidance, the college has emerged as a national innovator in STEM education, has expanded its online class offerings from nine to more than 300 courses, and has increased its profile as the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights.

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