Seeking to bring on new board members with a wide variety of experiences that would be beneficial to Tuskegee University, the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees unanimously elected three new individuals to serve on the board. E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., H. Jerome Russell, Jr., and Barron M. Witherspoon, Sr., (Class of 1985) were each elected during the Annual Meeting of the board. Trustees Johnson and Witherspoon were elected to full three-year terms. Initially, Russell will serve a two-year term, as he will be filling the vacancy caused by the retirement of Trustee Felker W. Ward, Jr., who now becomes a Trustee Emeritus. Newly elected Trustee H. Jerome Russell, Jr. now holds the same seat that his father, Herman J. Russell, Sr., held on the board for many years.
E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the Center for Justice, Rights, and Dignity, an organization geared toward advocating for civil rights and humanitarian causes. Johnson previously served as the Vice President and General Counsel for General Motors North America. Aside from his numerous legal roles, Johnson has published numerous scholarly works and was an Adjunct Professor for the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law at Western Michigan University. He also served in the U.S. Army for several years. Johnson holds a law degree from New York Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Johnson’s mother, Gladys Campanella Johnson (Class of 1940) served as Miss Tuskegee University.
H. Jerome Russell, Jr., moved through the professional ranks of H. J. Russell & Company’s construction & real estate development operations to his current position as President of H. J. Russell & Company and Russell New Urban Development, LLC where his focus is on the firm’s strategic direction and new business development. He has been involved in the beverage distribution, consumer marketing, banking, construction and development business for over 25 years. Like his father, Herman J. Russell, Jerome has an entrepreneurial flair, a firmly placed future orientation, and a dedication to his community. In 1997, Jerome was named to the Board of Citizens Trust Bank. In 2005, Jerome was named Chairman of the Loan Committee at Citizens Trust Bank. He also serves on the board of H. J. Russell & Company, Concessions International, Metro Atlanta YMCA, Georgia Historical Society and Central Atlanta Progress. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Atlanta Rotary, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce the Young President Organization and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta. Russell earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University.
Barron M. Witherspoon, Sr., is Proctor & Gamble’s Global Vice-President for Industry Affairs. He leads the company's external interface with trade associations and thought leaders impacting public policy, industry standards across the consumer goods industry. He leads development of all trade policies and practices and is located at P&G's worldwide headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Previously, he was Vice-President of Global Operations for Strategic Revenue and Pricing Management where he worked across all business units and geographies to develop and implement topline growth strategies. Witherspoon was a college exchange student in Konstanz, Germany and has earned degrees in Education from Brevard College in Florida and in Economics from Tuskegee University where he graduated cum laude. Trained for ministry at Cincinnati Bible Seminary, he is licensed and ordained and leads a ministry in Cross Cultural worship. He has held board positions for civic and industry organizations including Chairman, ECR Asia Board; Chairman, Board of Elders at Singapore Baptist Church; Chairman, INROADS National Board; Vice Chair, Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business & Information Science Advisory Board, Tuskegee University; and, Member, Jobs Plus Board.
For additional actions taken by the Board of Trustees during its Annual Meeting, visit Tuskegee University’s website.
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