Former U.S. Secretary of Energy O’Leary - Higher Education
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Former U.S. Secretary of Energy O’Leary

by Black Issues

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy O’Leary
Named 14th President of Fisk UniversityNASHVILLE, Tenn.
When Dr. Carolynn Reid Wallace abruptly resigned as Fisk University president last October, it marked the historically Black institution’s fourth president or interim president in the last seven years (see Black Issues, Nov. 20, 2003).
However, the 138-year-old university has again found new leadership, announcing the appointment of former U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O’Leary as its new president effective Aug. 15. O’Leary will be replacing interim president Dr. Charles R. Fuget.
Reynaldo P. Glover, chairman of the Fisk University board of trustees announced that the board voted unanimously to appoint her in a late afternoon meeting on July 12. “Mrs. O’Leary is a world class leader and visionary with broad experience running complex organizations,” said Glover.
“Among the many outstanding candidates, we selected President O’Leary because she has the energy, wisdom and courage to guide Fisk into the future and the track record to deliver results,” he added. “The faculty, students and my colleagues on the Board and I are pleased to welcome her. We know she will be a mentor to our students, an outstanding collaborator with us, and she will get the job done.”
“Charting our place in the 21st century is an exciting and worthy challenge,” said O’Leary during the announcement at Fisk’s historic Jubilee Hall. “I’m ready to take it on.”
“My vision is to build on the strength of this history, on our outstanding faculty and our cutting-edge research, particularly in science and technology and move Fisk to the forefront of top ranked liberal arts universities in the nation,” O’Leary said.
President O’Leary will greet incoming freshman, the class of 2008, on Aug. 20. She has begun to work with faculty, the administration and the Board to define a vision for the University in the 21st century. In 90 days she will present a strategic plan for the purpose of measuring accomplishments this academic year and in the future.
President O’Leary most recently served as president of the international energy consulting firm O’Leary & Associates Inc., that she founded in 1997 to focus on issues of corporate change, leadership and arms control. From 2001-2002 she served as president and CEO at Blaylock & Partners L.P., a top-ranked African American investment-banking firm in New York.
During the first administration of President Bill Clinton, President O’Leary served as U.S. Secretary of Energy, leading the cabinet-level Department of Energy’s 120,000 federal and contract employees in the pursuit of practical solutions in national security, science and technology, energy policy, sustainable development and economic productivity.
Fisk University has a current enrollment of 825 students and is in the top 10 percent of American colleges and universities whose graduates go on to earn a Ph.D. in the sciences.

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