The STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC)
is proud to announce, Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
, will be a member of the Council. Ms. Baskerville is the fifth and first female President & CEO of NAFEO, the only national membership, advocacy and capacity building association for the nation’s 103 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 92 Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). She is a seasoned lawyer, government relations and equity professional. Dr. Baskerville is an accomplished small business and association senior executive, who is a recognized expert on equal educational and employment opportunity, education excellence and access; pipeline issues, education funding, promising practices in minority student persistence, affirmative action and diversity issues. She is published in the fields.
Prior to ascending to the helm of NAFEO, Ms. Baskerville served as Vice President for Government Relations for The College Board. In that capacity, Baskerville was responsible for shaping and advancing the legislative agenda of The College Board, providing leadership to The Board’s Upward Bound program and Educational Opportunity Center –TRIO programs that collectively prepare, inspire and connect low- income, first generation, traditionally underserved students and adults to college and opportunity. While serving as an officer at The College Board, attorney Baskerville shaped, directed, edited and engaged the nation in a dialogue regarding “Investing More Equitably and Efficiently in Higher Education, Creating Value for America,” titled, “Challenging Times, Clear Choices: An Action Agenda for College Access and Success.” She also shaped, wrote significant portions and led the Board in preparing a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief in the Gratz v. Bollinger higher education diversity case.
For ten years prior to joining The College Board, Attorney Baskerville managed a successful private legal and legislative services collective⎯The Baskerville Group⎯that provided legal and government relations representation, advocacy and diversity services to higher education institutions and associations, municipalities, elected officials, candidates for office, non-profit associations, small businesses and corporations. In that capacity, Baskerville shaped and wrote significant portions of twenty-eight (28) national public policy documents, served as national policy advisor or southern mobilization director for 24 congressional candidates, 10 Senate candidates, and four presidential candidates.
For two decades Baskerville served as outside counsel to NAFEO and played central roles in preparing Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs on behalf of NAFEO, the National Medical Association and National Bar Association in leading educational equity and affirmative cases, such as Weber, Bakke, and Fullilove. Baskerville also played a leading role in shaping, advancing and for ten years, monitoring the enforcement of the consent decree in the landmark higher education desegregation case of Adams v. Califano.
Attorney Baskerville served as executive director of the National Black Leadership Roundtable, Appellate Counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,national legislative counsel for the NAACP, and as an administrative appeals judge in the District of Columbia.
Lezli Baskerville received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors from Douglass College, Rutgers University and in 1998, was inducted into The Douglass Society (the College’s Hall of Fame) in recognition of her unstinting commitment to improving the quality of life of vulnerable populations. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree with honors from Howard University School of Law, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Benedict College, and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Shaw University. Baskerville is also a graduate of the Executive Management Program for Minority Directors at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
Ms. Baskerville is the recipient of numerous awards and citations. In June 2012, she was pictured on the cover of STEMConnector and included in the cover story on “100 Women Leaders in STEM.” In March 2012 she was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in the cover story titled, “Leading the Way,” as one of “25 Women Making a Difference.” She was named by AOL Black Voices as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Black Women in Higher Education,” and by Ebony Magazine for five consecutive years as one of America’s Top 100 Most Influential Association Leaders. She is included in The History Makers, a national oral history of African American achievement, as a distinguished lawmaker. Baskerville is a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D.C.
Regarding joining the Council, Ms. Baskerville remarked, “STEMConnector is a tremendous vehicle through which to link HBCUs/PBIs with various stakeholders, and to educate the wider community about their amazing return on investment.”
The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) is the umbrella organization of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). Founded in 1969, NAFEO is the only membership association of its kind, representing the presidents and chancellors of all the nation’s black colleges and universities: public, private and land-grant two-year, four-year, graduate and professional schools.
Whether an institution is one of the 39 private black colleges and universities that belong to UNCF, one of the 47 public colleges and universities that belong to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; one of the 18 land-grant universities or 19 other public universities that belong to the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges’ Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges; a black 2-year institution that belongs to the American Association of Community Colleges; or one of the new Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), the institution has a voice and a vote in NAFEO.
NAFEO was founded to provide an international voice for the nation’s HBCUs; to place and maintain the issue of equal opportunity in higher education on the national agenda; to advocate for policies, programs and practices designed to preserve and enhance HBCUs; and to increase the active participation of blacks at every level in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in American higher education. For more information, visit www.nafeo.org