Education: MAKOLA M. ABDULLAH
PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, ETTRICK
Since becoming Virginia State University’s president in 2016, Abdullah has led the public HBCU to national prominence, as well as a budget surplus after the university was in debt before his tenure.
U.S. News & World Report ranked VSU in the top 30 of its Best Overall HBCUs for 2022 and it was also named HBCU of the Year in 2018 by HBCU Digest.
A graduate of Howard University, Abdullah was appointed in March to President Joe Biden’s historically Black colleges and universities advisory board, along with Norfolk State University President Javaune Adams-Gaston. In 2021, Abdullah was appointed to the national board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and a video of him playing one-on-one basketball with a student — a contest Abdullah won — went viral in March 2021.
Prior to his tenure at VSU, Abdullah worked in a variety of roles for universities in Florida. The Chicago native holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Northwestern University.