Bonita Brown Is the New Leader of Northern Kentucky University

Bonita Brown was appointed interim president of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights. She is the first woman and the first African American to lead the university.

“I am deeply grateful to the Board for the opportunity to work in service to the university as we navigate this transitional period,” Brown said in a statement. “NKU has a strong reputation for supporting students in this region in reaching their academic goals and I look forward to collaborating with the NKU campus community to continue this important work.”

Northern Kentucky University enrolls nearly 11,000 undergraduate students and close to 700 graduate students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 6 percent of the student body.

Since 2019, Brown had been serving as vice president and chief strategy officer at the university. Prior to her role at NKU, Brown served as the vice president for network engagement at Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit leader that champions evidence-based institutional improvement in community colleges across the country. Earlier, she was the director of Higher Education Practice with The Education Trust in Washington, D.C.  Brown was vice chancellor and chief of staff at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, chief of staff at the University of North Texas, and general counsel at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Brown received a bachelor’s degree in history and a juris doctorate from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


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