Dr. George E. Cooper Named Executive Director of White House Initiative on HBCUs

Following an extensive search and the appointment of two interim executive directors since Dr. John S. Wilson departed to assume the reins at Morehouse College, the White House Initiative on historically Black colleges and universities has appointed a new leader.

Former South Carolina State University President Dr. George E. Cooper has been named executive director of the office. Cooper, a former deputy administrator for science and education resources development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was credited with guiding South Carolina State to reaccreditation during his tenure. He stepped down in 2012 after a tumultuous four year term marked by a steep decline in enrollment and a 2010 attempt by the board to terminate his employment with the university.

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, who is perhaps best known for his work on the “Breaking Barriers” report series (which focuses on attacking myths about the educational achievement of Black males), will be the Initiative’s deputy executive director.

Toldson was most recently an associate professor in Howard University’s psychology department, in addition to serving as editor of The Journal of Negro Education, and a senior researcher for the Congressional Black Caucus, prior to joining the Department of Education. He received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University in 2002, a M.Ed. in 1997 from Penn State in Counselor Education and a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Psychology in 1995.


  • Frances Beatrice Dowd Solomon

    Congratulations Dr. Cooper. I am so proud of you.

    Beatrice Dowd Solomon

  • James and Everlena Collins

    Hi Dr George Cooper, What a wonderful appointment. James and I Everlena Collins are very proud of you and we know you will do agreat job. May God keep blessing you and your family.
    James and Everlena Collins

  • Vivian Browdy

    Hello Dr. George Cooper,

    Very proud to hear of your new appointment. They have the best. May you enjoy this assignment and be blessed to bless the HBCU’S.
    Enjoyed seeing you at the class reunion.