AHA President-elect


Howard University

Ben Vinson III is the 18th president of Howard University and a tenured professor of history in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. As president, he is tasked with inspiring, innovating, and strategically leading the Howard community, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. He was previously provost and executive vice president at Case Western Reserve University, responsible for all facets of the academic programs and research of the university. During his time at CWRU, Vinson spearheaded the university’s Think Big strategic planning initiative, which received national attention for its innovative and inclusive planning process. Vinson is an accomplished historian of Latin America and the recipient of the 2019 Howard F. Cline Book Prize in Mexican History for his book Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. Before coming to CWRU, he served on the faculties of Barnard College and Penn State before joining Johns Hopkins University as a professor of history and founding director of its Center for Africana Studies. At Johns Hopkins, he went on to serve as a vice dean for centers, interdisciplinary studies and graduate education before becoming dean of George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Vinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate from Columbia University. He has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, National Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ford, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations. He is chairman of the board of the National Humanities Center and member of the board of the National Humanities Alliance.