Black academic leaders are making historic moves in the realm of higher education. Dr. M. Brian Blake has been appointed to serve as the president of Georgia State University; making him the first Black person in the school’s 108-year history to take on the position.
Dr. Blake—a Georgia Tech alum who holds degrees from Mercer University and George Mason University—has dedicated his career to advancing education and cultivating learning environments in which scholars can thrive. He stepped into the education space nearly 22 years ago as an educator at Georgetown University. During his tenure at the Washington, D.C.-based institution, he served as the chair of the Department of Computer Science and the director of the school’s computer science-focused graduate studies programs. Throughout his career, he’s taken on leadership roles at institutions that include the University of Notre Dame, the University of Miami and Drexel University.
Dr. Blake has spearheaded efforts designed to advance STEM education programs and initiatives focused on student retention and support for faculty. He joined the Georgia State University team in 2019 as executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost.
Dr. Blake is humbled by the appointment and says he’s looking forward to leading efforts that will elevate GSU. “I am deeply grateful to the Board of Regents and Chancellor Wrigley for the opportunity to lead Georgia State into a very bright future,” he said in a statement. “I know that with help from the campus community, we can further the institution’s national reputation and innovative environment and create a truly unique education experience for students. The university has made tremendous strides under President Mark Becker’s leadership in the classroom, the laboratory, and on the athletic field. I am eager to start building upon that strong foundation.” He’s slated to step into his new role in August.
News about Dr. Blake’s appointment comes after Dr. Jason Wingard made history by becoming Temple University’s first Black president.