Dr. Hakim Lucas Elected to the Southern Education Foundation Board of Trustees

December 17, 2018

CONTACT: Autumn Blanchard


(404) 991-6766

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) has announced four new members to its Board of Trustees: Lily D. McNair, President of Tuskegee University; Kenneth M. Jones II, Vice President & CFO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Hakim J. Lucas, President & CEO of Virginia Union University; and Ajay K. Mehrotra, Executive Director of the American Bar Foundation. Each brings a unique expertise and enhances SEF’s board in the areas of academia, research and philanthropy. 

“The new additions to our board offer wisdom on issues such as education policy, law, and philanthropy.  As we envision the Southern Education Foundation’s next chapter, having such leadership is certain to be beneficial and indicative of our interest in being an influencer on multiple fronts,” said Milton J. Little Jr., SEF Board Chair and President & CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta.

About Dr. Lily D. McNair:

Dr. Lily D. McNair serves as Tuskegee University’s eighth president. Her appointment as Tuskegee’s first female president comes after nearly seven years of service as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College and associate provost of research and divisional coordinator for science and mathematics at Spelman College. Dr. McNair served as associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at University of Georgia, where in 1999 she was the first African-American woman to obtain tenure and promotion in the Department of Psychology. She also has served as professor of psychology on the faculty of State University of New York at New Paltz and as a clinical psychologist at Vassar College.  Dr. McNair’s research has focused on a host of topics related to the development and social behaviors amongst students and the communities where they live. Dr. McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

About Mr. Kenneth M. Jones II:

Mr. Kenneth M. Jones II is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the 27th largest foundation in the country. Previously, Jones worked at Danya International, a public health and education strategy development organization, where he served as Chief Financial Officer as well as President & CFO for Zebra jobs, a subsidiary organization of Danya. In addition, Jones served as Chief Financial Officer at Jhpiego, an international health NGO affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. Ken currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foundations, the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the National Prevention Science Coalition, Mission Investor Exchange, Thurgood Marshall Academy, Think of Us and Lutheran World Relief. He received his MBA from the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Buffalo, and a bachelor's degree from Boston University.

About Dr. Hakim J. Lucas:

Dr. Hakim J. Lucas currently serves as the 13th President of Virginia Union University. He has previously served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. Dr. Lucas served as Director of Development at State University of New York at Old Westbury and the Dean of Institutional Advancement and Development at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY, as well as a tenured lecturer and Deputy Chair of the Philosophy and Religion department at Medgar Evers College.  Dr. Lucas earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in education from Tufts University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Fordham University.

About Dr. Ajay K. Mehrotra:

Dr. Ajay K. Mehrotra is the Executive Director and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, a Chicago-based, independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes.  He is also a Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and an Affiliated Professor of History at Northwestern University.  His scholarship and teaching focus is on legal history and tax law. After law school, and before he embarked on his academic career, Mehrotra was an Associate in the Structured Finance department of the New York offices of J.P. Morgan. Mehrotra received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, his J.D. from Georgetown, and his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Chicago.

“The addition of these four individuals to the Southern Education Foundation’s board enhances the access and thought leadership at our disposal and helps us scale our influence in key states in the South,” said Raymond Pierce, President & CEO of the Southern Education Foundation.


About Southern Education Foundation

Established in 1867 with initial funding from George Peabody, the Southern Education Foundation was formed to bring education to the newly emancipated population of Blacks as well as poor Whites in the South following the Civil War. SEF is the longest standing organization in the United States that focuses on educational equity in the South. SEF’s historic legacy of research and public education advocacy continues through a variety of equity and fairness initiatives impacting public education systems in the southern states.

About Virginia Union University

Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education founded in 1865. It is nourished by its African American and Christian heritage and energized by a commitment to excellence and diversity. Our undergraduate program offers a variety of majors in three schools:  The Sydney Lewis School of Business; The Evelyn Reid Syphax School of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies; and, The School of Arts and Sciences. Graduate degrees offered are for Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education, Special Education, and Urban Education. The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology offers graduate degrees in Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts in Christian Education.