WASHINGTON – Howard University is pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Leonard, Ph.D., as Assistant Vice President for External Affairs, effective immediately. For more than two years, Leonard served as director of the Howard University Community Association, which focused on improving the University’s relationship with surrounding communities. Leonard replaces Paul Monteiro, who had held the position since 2019.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Joe Leonard as Assistant Vice President for External Affairs,” said Rashad Young, senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “Dr. Leonard is a long-time community advocate who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Office of External Affairs. He will guide the University in nurturing and building relationships with local, state, and federal government officials. I would also like to thank Mr. Paul Monteiro for nearly three years of dedicated service to Howard University as Assistant Vice President for External Affairs, and I am confident that Leonard will continue to help propel Howard forward. .

Leonard previously served as Chief of Staff to the Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Washington, D.C. Leonard also served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the US Senate on April 2, 2009.

“I want to personally thank President Frederick, SVP Young, and AVP Paul Monteiro for the faith and trust they have placed in me since I joined Howard University,” Leonard said. “Having worked alongside AVP Monteiro for the past two years, I feel especially privileged to continue the mission of the University.”

Prior to joining the USDA, Leonard served as executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). While at the CBC, Leonard managed day-to-day caucus operations and helped guide legislative policy for its 43 members of Congress. Prior to his role at the CBC, Leonard served as executive director of the Black Leadership Forum, an umbrella organization of 32 member groups that work together to develop and implement public policy for African Americans in urban and rural America. He also served for five years as Washington, DC bureau chief of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and director of the Arthur Fleming Institute of the Center for Policy Alternatives.

Leonard is originally from Texas. He holds a doctorate. in American History with a major in Civil Rights History from Howard University, an MA from Southern University, and a BA from Huston-Tillotson University. Leonard and his wife, Natasha Cole-Leonard, Ph.D., are the proud parents of their 19-year-old son, Cole.


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students follow more than 140 study programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Scholars, and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard is also producing more African-American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information about Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

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