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Dr. Donna Elam


Dr. Donna Elam

Dr. Donna Elam is an author and nationally recognized for her expertise in leadership development and diversity. She is President/CEO of ELI, Elam Leadership Institute, a national network of experts for leadership development for educational institutions working with diverse student populations to positively impact achievement.

Dr. Elam, Chair Emerita, has served on the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) since 2000. She is on the executive boards of Magnet Schools of America, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights’ Work Group, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Non-violence.

Dr. Elam has received numerous recognitions and awards at state, national and international levels. Recognized by Power Broker Magazine as one of the Tampa Bay Florida Area’s Most Influential Educational Leaders, she is also an awardee of the Women’s Leadership Award from the University of South Florida. Additionally, she was a recipient of the prestigious Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award by Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) during the International Committee of Artists for Peace Conference.

A recipient of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director’s Award for her work as a member of the Attorney General’s Hate Crime’s Working Committee, Dr. Elam has also been recognized by the United States Department of Education for her work in Youth Development and Student Achievement. She is a recipient of the Florida Education Fund/Florida College Access Network’s Lifelong Service Award.

Dr. Elam holds two degrees from New York University (NYU), a Masters and Doctorate of Education and a Bachelors of Science from CUNY’s York College in New York. Dr. Elam has testified as an Expert Witness for the U.S. Department of Justice on Diversity in Education to the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and for the state of Arkansas” Legislative Summit on Closing the Achievement Gap.

Among her publications are “Culture-based leadership and preparation: A qualitative meta-synthesis of the literature in the Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Diversity; “New Directions for Culturally Competent Leaders”, “From the Schoolhouse to the Jailhouse: Can We Stop it?”, and  “Why They Marched: The Struggle for the Right To Vote” a civil rights book for children recommended by the Department of Education & Governor.

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