Biography of Dr. Michael L. Lomax

Dr. Lomax - President and CEO of UNCF

Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has been president and CEO of UNCF, the nation's largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness; preparing students for college success from pre-school through high school. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised $2.3 billion and helped more than 92,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF's work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Lomax has worked to provide educational opportunities for African Americans and other Americans of color. Before coming to UNCF, Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF- member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

At UNCF's helm, Lomax oversees the organization's 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year worth more than $100 million. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF's 37 member historically black colleges and universities become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining. Under Lomax's leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations. He serves on the boards of Teach For America and the KIPP Foundation. He also co-chaired the Washington, DC, mayoral education transition team and the search committee for a new DC school chancellor.

Dr. Lomax serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of African American History and Culture and the Studio Museum of Harlem. He founded the National Black Arts Festival.

A Message from Dr. Michael L. Lomax:  There’s A Crisis In Black Education.  We Need Your Help To End It
Thank you for your interest in education, and for taking a few minutes to learn about UNCF and what we are doing to make our motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”®, a reality—to make sure all Americans, not just some Americans, get the education they deserve and need, and that we as a nation need them to have.

Today, a college education is what a high school diploma used to be: the minimum requirement for most well-paying, fast-growing careers.  Yet at a time when African Americans and other people of color will soon make up a majority of the workforce, there is a crisis in education.  Nearly half of all black children who begin kindergarten do not graduate from high school. Of those that enroll in college, only 40 percent finish within six years. 

This is not what we want for our children, and is not what our communities, our businesses or our country need.

We must do something about this crisis.  With your help, UNCF can make a difference.  We can provide scholarships to students who need help paying for college.  We can help our 37 member colleges and universities give their students a good education at tuition they can afford.  And we can tell the nation how important it is that students get the kind of education before college that enables them to succeed in college.

Think of contributing to UNCF as an investment that pays a dividend in the form of college-educated workers, prosperous communities and a strong competitive economy.  Invest in UNCF to speed the day when every black child who enters pre-school in America will graduate from high school college-ready, and when every student who enrolls in college will persist until they finish and earn a degree.  Also spread the word about UNCF to your friends and colleagues, and their friends and colleagues, widening the circle of investment as we go.

Because “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”