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Biographical Sketch: Ruth SIMMONS

Forum Presenter

Institution: Brown University

Country: Other (non-African institution)

Prior to her 2001 appointment as the 18th president of Brown University, Ruth Simmons served six years as President of Smith College, the largest women's college in the Unites States. A native of Texas, Simmons was educated at Dillard University in New Orleans and Harvard University, where she received her Ph.D in Romance Languages and Literatures. Focusing on African and Caribbean literature of French expression, she began her academic career as a professor of French. She later served in administrative roles at the University of New Orleans, the University of Southern California and Spelman College before becoming Vice Provost at Princeton University, where she served as Secretary of the University's budget committee with responsibility for helping to structure the university's annual operating budget. At Brown University since 2001, she has overseen a significant expansion of the University's faculty, undertook a project to uncover and address the University's colonial era association with slavery, and led a $1.4 billion fundraising campaign. President of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, Simmons has been awarded over 40 honorary degrees by leading universities around the world.