The Southern Education Foundation Appoints New Trustee

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Judith E. Leonard To Begin Term In 2020

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) is pleased to announce that Judith E. Leonard has been appointed to the organization’s Board of Trustees. Judith joins the Board bringing with her a distinguished career that includes 35 years of experience in law, academia, government and education policy.

Since 2009, Judith has served as General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Reporting directly to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Judith directs and coordinates all legal matters of the Institution, serves as the principal legal counsel to the Secretary, the Board of Regents and its committees, other officials of the Institution, 19 museums, 9 research facilities and a zoological park. Judith also serves as a member of the Secretary’s Senior Leadership Team and her office also serves as legal counsel to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a non-partisan public policy and research institution. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution Judith served as Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Arizona, Assistant General Counsel for the University of North Carolina and as a senior executive with the U.S. Department of Education.

Michael Nettles, incoming Chairman of the SEF Board of Trustees said, “The SEF Board of Trustees is very excited about having Judith Leonard join the Board. Her experience in high levels of government, university administration and now at the Smithsonian will be a great asset to the Board deliberations and decision-making planning as we work with our CEO to chart a new and ambitious direction into the future.”

“Previously in my career I had the pleasure of working with Judith Leonard while we both served at the U.S. Department of Education,” said Raymond Pierce, President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation. “In addition to being a highly accomplished and talented legal professional, Judith possesses a keen understanding of mission strategies and an awareness of issues concerning equity in education policy. I am exhilarated that she has joined the Board of Trustees of The Southern Education Foundation."

Leonard will begin her Board service in January 2020.

About Southern Education Foundation

SEF was founded in 1867 as the Peabody Fund created by George Peabody for the purpose of providing education opportunity for the newly emancipated population of formerly enslaved African Americans along with poor whites in the southern states following the Civil War. Through the consolidation of several education foundations SEF emerged to play a major role in the development of education opportunity in the American South. Today, SEF continues to advance its 152-year-old mission by pursuing equity in education opportunities through its leadership development, research and policy and education advocacy activities.

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Lisa Chester
since: 07/2011
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