Howard University named Ben Vinson III, a self-described “living Diasporan” and a historian of African and Latin American diasporas, as the institution’s 18th president Tuesday.
He will replace Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, who has been president of Howard since 2014.
Vinson started his academic career on the faculties of Barnard College and Penn State University and was most recently provost and executive vice president at Case Western Reserve University, according to Howard’s announcement. He previously taught history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he was founding director of its Center for Africana Studies and later served as a vice dean for centers, interdisciplinary studies and graduate education. He was also dean of George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the announcement said.
“Howard’s incredible legacy, its remarkable trajectory, combined with the fine talent of its faculty and staff, situate Howard at the uppermost echelons of higher education,” Vinson said in the announcement. “I look forward to returning to the DMV, which I consider home, and working with the broader campus community to fortify Howard and help build upon its incredible tradition of delivering excellence, truth, and service to greater humanity.”
Dr. Frederick praised the selection of Vinson as his successor.
“His vast experience and proven track record in academic leadership make him the ideal candidate to lead our esteemed institution into the future,” Frederick said in the announcement. “I am confident that Howard will continue to thrive under his guidance as a premier center for higher learning and innovation.”