Dr. Agenia Walker Clark Appointed as New President of Fisk University


by Veracity Savant

September 18, 2023

Dr. Agenia Walker Clark earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville before earning a Doctorate in Leadership from Vanderbilt University, Fisk University reports.

A veteran community advocate, she served in a number of corporate roles before serving as Senior Director of Human Resources at Vanderbilt University and VP of Human Resources for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. 

From there, she made the transition to youth work. She most recently served as CEO for the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, where she’s been working for nearly two decades. During her 19 years of service, she increased the organization’s efficiency, spearheaded new facilities, expanded its reserves and made it one of the highest performing of the 111 councils in the Girl Scout network.

And now the Board of Trustees of Fisk University has named Dr. Clark as the next president of the illustrious University. 

“Dr. Clark’s lifelong dedication to improving the lives of young people, along with her unique combination of fundraising and brand-building skills, are exactly what Fisk needs today. I know that Dr. Clark’s bold ideas will positively impact our campus community today while assuring a fast-growing trajectory for the future,” said Fisk Board chair Juliette Pryor. 


Clark will take over for interim president Frank Sims, who has served in the role since 2021.

Clark will be the third woman president and the 18th president in the university’s 158-year-history. Fisk is one of the highest ranking historically Black colleges in the country. And the board of trustees launched an exhaustive year-long search for its 18th president. 

“The Board was searching for a uniquely bold and visionary leader, and we found her in Dr. Clark,” added Pryor. 


In addition to her prior community work, Clark also serves on the corporate board of directors for FirstBank Financial Corporation. She is a member of the board of trustees for Belmont and Simmons Universities, she’s a trustee emerita on the board of the Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she was named Nashvillian of the Year in 2021. She was also recognized as one of Nashville’s 100 Most Powerful People from 2015 through 2020.

Dr. Clark said she is excited to step into her new role and contribute to the prestigious legacy of Fisk University. 

“To serve a new generation of brilliant, socially minded students – not unlike their counterparts of decades past, like W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, John Lewis and Dr. Diane Nash – is surely the honor of my lifetime. No institution of higher-ed has a richer legacy – or a richer promise for the future – than Fisk,” said Clark. 

Dr. Agenia Walker Clark is set to step into her new role as Fisk University President on November 6, 2023. Congratulations!


Photo by Fisk University

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