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Delaware State University President Tony Allen Named Distinguished Academy Fellow by the National Academy of Public Administration

September 23, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Delaware State University President Tony Allen joined a distinguished group of civic leaders Wednesday with his inclusion in the 2022 Class of Academy Fellows by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

Academy Fellows assist NAPA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chartered by Congress, in reaching its mission to provide independent research and studies that advance the field of public administration and facilitate the development, adoption and implementation of solutions to government’s most significant challenges.

Fellows are selected after a rigorous process and in recognition of years of public administration service and expertise.

“The great W.E.B. Du Bois once said, ‘You are not and yet you are: your thoughts, your deeds, above all your dreams still live.’ As a college leader and an HBCU trumpeter, I make this my goal—ensuring that the dreams of my students still live. Doing so requires full attention to the challenges and opportunities in front of them, so much of which hinges on policymaking that reflects the whole of the American citizenry,” said Dr. Allen. “Becoming an Academy Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration affords me a new platform to tell their story and promote their dreams. I could not be more pleased.”

Dr. Allen began his career as a speechwriter for then-United States Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. In 2021, the President tapped him to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the 59th Presidential Inaugural. Later that year, he was appointed to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as Chair.

Before joining Delaware State University, Dr. Allen transitioned from speechwriting to a career in the private sector at Bank of America as Managing Director of Corporate Reputation. He was also founding President of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Co-founder of Public Allies Delaware. Currently, he is Chairman Emeritus of the National Urban Fellows, a member of the Economic and Community Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and serves on the Boards of Graham and Pepco Holdings.

Under Dr. Allen’s leadership, Delaware State University has become the nation’s most diverse, contemporary HBCU, growing nearly 25 percent under his tenure, elevating the profile of the University, and expanding its footprint by acquiring Wesley College, a first for HBCUs.

The president and CEO of NAPA said the new class of Fellows will be called upon to lend their experience, insights, successes, and lessons to federal departments, agencies, and all levels/sectors of government to help solve problems.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Tony Allen to the Academy’s 2022 class of Fellows,” said Terry Gerton, President, and CEO of the Academy. “Our distinguished Academy Fellows are nationally recognized and respected for their expertise in the field of public administration and Tony is no exception. We proudly welcome this outstanding new class of Fellows that will help advance the Academy vision: a just, fair, and inclusive government that strengthens communities and protects democracy.”

To carry out its mission, NAPA draws on the knowledge and expertise of its nearly 1,000 Fellows, which include Cabinet members, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, prominent scholars, career public administrators, and business executives.

Selection of the Academy’s new Fellows follows a rigorous review of the individual’s contributions to the field of public administration and policy. A Fellows Nominating Committee makes its recommendations to the full Fellowship, which then votes on those individuals to be elected.