top of page

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PH.D.

Chair, National Council of Negro Women


During her childhood, Johnnetta Betsch Cole had the privilege and joy of being mentored by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. As a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), she also had the honor of working with Dr. Dorothy Irene Height. Her passion for the work of NCNW is centered in her longstanding engagement in the struggle for social justice, a struggle that must include full equality for African American women. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and she currently serves as a co-chair of the Sorority’s National Arts and Letters Commission. She is also a member of the Links, Inc.

Dr. Cole is a Principal Consultant with Cook Ross, Inc., a consulting firm in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is currently a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Cole served as the president of both historically Black colleges for women in the United States–Spelman and Bennett Colleges– a distinction she alone holds. She also served as Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. She has authored and edited several books and numerous articles for scholarly and general audiences. She has received numerous awards, including a NCNW Uncommon Height Award and 68 honorary degrees.

bottom of page