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Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD


Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a noted speaker, author, and consultant for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. After receiving a Ph.D. in anthropology, Dr. Cole held teaching and administrative positions in anthropology, women’s studies, and African American studies at several colleges and universities. She served as the president of both historically Black colleges for women in the United States, Spelman College and Bennett College, a distinction she alone holds. She also served as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. She was a Principal Consultant at Cook Ross and a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She currently serves as the President and Board Chair for the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an organization founded by Mary McLeod Bethune and led by Dr. Dorothy Irene Height for decades. She is also on the board for the Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation. She recently co-chaired the American Alliance of Museum’s (AAM) Working Group on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, and co-authored Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in Museums with Laura Lott, the current President of AAM. Throughout her career and in her published work, speeches and community service, she consistently addresses issues of race, gender, and other systems of inequality.