Dr. Kevin James
President, Morris Brown College
Dr. James made history by leading the institution to become the first HBCU to regain accredited status after a nearly twenty-year hiatus. He drew from his 22-year career as a higher education administrator, professor, executive business leader, and motivational speaker to fulfill his role as the Chief Executive Officer of the college. He is responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of college operations. Dr. James is also responsible for the development and execution of the vision and strategic direction for the college, in concert with the Board of Trustees. To execute his preliminary vision of re-accreditation, he built a strategy around several core pillars: academic strength, governance, financial solvency, alumni partnership, and community engagement. Dr. James is committed to the legacy of Morris Brown, which empowers the community through education. He understood such empowerment could only be delivered through the pillars previously listed.
Dr. James announced a partnership that has people Rethinking what Morris Brown is capable of. On February 25, 2021, Hilton Hotels Worldwide and the global investment firm CGI Merchant Group agreed to partner with Morris Brown in developing a $40 million dollar hotel. A major component of the agreement was the ability to train students in the hotel and its restaurants. Construction begins fall 2022 on a 150-room hotel under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
As President, Dr. James has stabilized finances; increased fundraising; expanded and revised academic offerings; successfully guided the institution through TRACS accreditation; and led the College in reaching record-breaking enrollment increases in the past twenty years. Under his leadership, Morris Brown College has been completely transformed and revitalized.
Prior to his post as President, Dr. James served as Interim CEO of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., internationally headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of 100 Black Men of America is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. Dr. James has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox, US News, Forbes, Black Enterprise, The Root, NewsOne, The GRIO, HBCU Times, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Voice, Atlanta Magazine, and The Atlanta Tribune just to name a few.
In 2022, Dr. James was selected to Leadership Atlanta, Named Core 100 Most Influential Blacks Today, named one of 12 Prominent African Americans you should know by Upscale Magazine, named Honorary Chairman of The Walk Atlanta- National African American Male Wellness Initiative, named 22 to watch in 2022 by The Atlanta Business Chronicle, and named one of Atlanta’s Most Powerful Leaders by Atlanta Magazine. Moreover, he received the FACE of Influence Award and The Isaiah DeQuincey Newman Lifetime Humanitarian Award. In 2021, Dr. James was named College President of the Year by the Georgia Greater Black Chamber of Commerce and one of Atlanta’s Most Powerful Leaders by Atlanta Magazine. In 2020, he received the Winthrop University Alumni Professional Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to higher education. Additionally, he received the 4 Brighter Futures Foundation, Inc. Chairman Award, was a Georgia Leadership Character Award nominee, Mentor of the Year for 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and Morris Brown College was named Top 10 Smaller HBCU that is Rising #4 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Moreover, he was selected and completed the Higher Education Leadership Foundation/United Negro College Fund Presidential Leadership Institute.
Among his memberships are Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, Golden Key International Honor Society, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, the Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity, and 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. James attended South Carolina State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Social Sciences from Winthrop University; a master’s degree in Business Management, Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy State University; and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a graduate of the Higher Education Institute at Harvard University.