Dr. Johnnetta

Betsch Cole

The National Council

of Negro Women


Johnnetta Betsch Cole is the Chair and Seventh President of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an organization of over 2 million women of African descent. NCNW’s mission is to advocate for and empower Black women, their families and their communities. Dr. Cole is a noted educator, author, speaker and consultant on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in educational institutions, museums and other workplaces.

After receiving a Ph.D. in anthropology, she held teaching positions in anthropology, women’s studies, and African American studies at several colleges and universities. Dr. Cole served as 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, as a Principal Consultant at Cook Ross, and as a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Cole currently serves as Special Counsel on Strategic Initiatives at the Baltimore Museum of Art.


She has authored, co-authored and edited several books and numerous articles for scholarly and general audiences. Dr. Cole has received numerous awards, and is the recipient of 70 honorary degrees.
Throughout her career and in her published work, speeches, and community service, Johnnetta Betsch Cole consistently addresses racism, sexism, and all other systems of inequality. She is a member of the Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a Life Time Member of the NAACP.

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