Dr. Michael L. Lomax


Dr. Lomax

Dr. Michael L. Lomax serves as president and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization and the largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to underrepresented students.

A native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Lomax entered Morehouse College at the age of 16 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English as one of the college’s inaugural Phi Beta Kappa graduates. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English literature from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in American and African American literature from Emory University. Dr. Lomax has served on the faculty of both Morehouse and Spelman Colleges.

Dr. Lomax began his civic career in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the director of research and special assistant to then Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. While in this position, Lomax helped establish the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, where he served as its first director.

In 1978, Dr. Lomax was elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and became the first African American to be elected as board chairman, a position he held from 1981 to 1993. In this role, he was responsible for a $500 million annual operating budget and 5,000 county employees. He also founded the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Arts Council, and the National Black Arts Festival.

To meet the needs of a vibrantly changing community, he oversaw the building of Georgia’s Interstate 400, a major highway on the outskirts of Atlanta; expanding and renovating the historic Grady Hospital; and building the new Fulton County Government Center. In 1988, he co-chaired the Democratic National Convention and was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta.

In 1994, Dr. Lomax began his tenure as president of the National Faculty, an Atlanta-based organization dedicated to bringing together arts and sciences higher education scholars with K-12 teachers.

From 1997 to 2004, Dr. Lomax served as the 5th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. During his tenure at Dillard, the student enrollment increased by nearly 50 percent, accompanied by dramatic increases in private funding and alumni giving. Dr. Lomax also led a $60 million campus program that improved the educational and everyday environments for students and faculty.

Since 2004, Dr. Lomax has served as UNCF president and CEO. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $4 billion and helped more than 150,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 50,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400-plus scholarship programs, which award more than 10,000 scholarships a year. He also launched UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building, which supports member HBCUs to become stronger, more effective and self-sustaining. Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has engineered partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration, and the Department of Education.

Among his many honors, Dr. Lomax was appointed to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities by President George W. Bush. He serves on the boards of Handshake, the KIPP Foundation, Cengage Group and Teach for America. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate and a trustee of the Studio Museum in Harlem. He was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and previously served on the board of America’s Promise Alliance.


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