Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is Named as Honorary HBCU Executive Leadership Institute Fellow

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ term will come to a close in January, but she is already taking a new leadership step, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bottoms has been selected as The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute’s (HBCU ELI’s) first honorary fellow of the Clark Atlanta University-based effort. In the future, Bottoms will speak to the first group of selected fellows, the newspaper reported.

A certification program provides development for future HBCU presidents and leaders, Executive Leadership Institute explained in online information, according to a press release.

HBCU ELI is also providing development for 100 future Historically Black Colleges and Universities( HBCU) leaders at at a critical time. College enrollment has been a topic of interest as colleges and universities seek to recover from the pandemic by encouraging students to return to college, Inside Higher Ed reported.

“Within the HBCU community, we know that enrollment is the lifeblood of the institution, that students present means the institution will go on to the future,” Adriel Hilton, of Southern University, said in the article.

Strong leaders will be needed to support HBCUs while these institutions navigate beyond recent challenges. This program strives to provide a pipeline of qualified candidates which is inclusive of 58% capable women, according to a press release.

“Mayor Bottoms is experienced, intelligent, and has a strong commitment to the next generation of women leaders,” Dr. George T. French, Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University, said. “As an alumna of Florida A&M University, she continues to remind us that HBCUs can indeed create leaders who help solve society’s most pressing challenges, even in the face of crisis.”




Bottoms has also served in a legal capacity as a judge, in addition to being a City Councilmember, prior to embarking upon her mayoral journey. Her background aligns with Eli’s 2021 Inaugural Community of Fellows who range from deans to attorneys and HBCU educators.

“For more than 150 years, HBCUs have not only played an important role in American higher education, but also in building stronger communities and world-class leaders in every sector of society,”  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “As a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, I am excited to accept this honorary fellowship and support HBCU ELI’s efforts to ensure this legacy continues.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)—which provides assistance to resolve difficult challenges in local places — donated $1 million for HBCU ELI.

On average, an HBCU president stays in the position for approximately three years. ELI’s creators want the time period to extend to a greater time period, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.