AAUW Board of Directors Selects New CEO

Gloria L. Blackwell to lead the 140-year-old organization

Washington DC – The Board of Directors of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) today announced that Gloria L. Blackwell will be AAUW’s new Chief Executive, effective October 18, 2021.

Blackwell, who currently serves as AAUW’s Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, was chosen for the role because of her deep executive experience and her impressive record of innovative contributions to AAUW’s mission for  nearly two decades, said AAUW Board Chair Julia Brown.

“As AAUW proudly celebrates 140 years of advancing equity for women and girls this year, we know that Gloria is the right leader at the right time,” Brown said. “Her outstanding talents are unparalleled assets to AAUW. The Board of Directors and AAUW’s members are privileged to partner with Gloria to continue to uplift our mission and vision of equity for all.”

Blackwell, who is also AAUW’s main representative to the United Nations, brings more than 30 years of nonprofit, international and government experience to her new role. Among her many accomplishments is her 17-year record of managing and expanding AAUW’s highly esteemed fellowships and grants program—awarding more than $70 million in funding to women scholars and programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Blackwell has also been the driving force behind AAUW’s signature initiatives, including its salary negotiation program, which has reached nearly 190,000 women nationwide. She has initiated and built partnerships with major corporate and foundation funders, state and municipal governments and institutes of higher education. Most notably, Blackwell has significantly expanded the AAUW’s outreach to girls and women of color.

“I am incredibly honored and grateful to the Board for valuing my commitment to global gender equity, my leadership at AAUW and the contributions of my high-performing teams,” said Blackwell, who is the second Black woman to lead AAUW. “I stand in a unique place, and I plan to use my skills and expertise to build a new and stronger vision for AAUW. I vow to grow our impact across all communities and expand our commitment to infuse equity and inclusion into everything we do.”

Prior to joining AAUW, Blackwell worked at the Institute of International Education in Washington D.C., leading and managing girl’s education programs in Africa and mid-career fellowships for global professionals. Her lifelong desire to make a difference through international education and gender equity was inspired by her service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon and Country Desk Officer at the D.C. headquarters for five Sub-Saharan countries.

Blackwell is the recipient of multiple honors and awards and has led and served on numerous boards and advisory groups, including the UNA-USA Council of Organizations Executive Committee, the International Book Bank, Latina SciGirls and the Canadian Organization for Development Through Education (CODE).

Blackwell holds a master’s degree in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  A fluent French speaker, she also studied at the American University in Paris, France.


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org

For more information, contact Mary C. Hickey at hickeym@aauw.org | 973.819.3608