On July 7, 2010, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever became the third Executive Director in the history of the National Council of Negro Women and at only 41, also the youngest. Dr. Jones-DeWeever’s appointment to Executive Director comes during a time of heightened awareness of the historic civil and women’s rights organization. On the heels of the passing of its legendary leader, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, the appointment of its new Chair, Dr. Barbara Shaw, and in the midst of its historic 75th Anniversary, this year has proven to be both tragic and triumphant for the historic organization.
Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and energy to her new role at NCNW. Widely revered as an expert in the fields of Race, Gender, Politics, and Policy, she has devoted her professional life to examining how policies impact the lives of women and communities of color while also seeking to advance effective programmatic solutions to long-standing societal challenges. Her career spans stints at several highly esteemed organizations including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. But it was only at the Council, that Dr. Jones-DeWeever was able to merge her interest in both race and gender on behalf of producing broad-scale social change. Originally joining the organization in 2007 as the Director of its Research, Public Policy and Information Center, Dr. Jones-DeWeever now ascends to the position of Executive Director bringing with her both external and internal perspectives for the benefit of the organization.
“It is both an honor and a privilege to be one of those charged with the worthy cause of continuing the legacy of our esteemed Founder, Dr. Mary McCleod Bethune as well as our long-time visionary and iconic leader, Dr. Dorothy I. Height. I take seriously this responsibility and look forward to introducing NCNW to the next generation of dynamic African American women,” stated Jones-DeWeever. “I have no doubt,” she continued, “that together, women from all across this nation will bond together at this critical time to not only continue the legacy that has been bequeathed to us by our tremendous forerunners, but to usher in a new era of relevancy, action, and impact in communities all across this nation and around the world.”
Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied under tremendous scholars such as Drs. Linda Williams, Ronald Walters, and Clarence Stone. She brings to NCNW an impressive background as a published author, public speaker, policy analyst, and strategist. Not a stranger to high profile situations, Dr. Jones-DeWeever has appeared on multiple major television and radio networks including CNN, C-SPAN, ABC, PBS, NPR, Sirius/XM, BBC and American Urban Networks among others. She has also been quoted in numerous major print publications including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times and Essence and Glamour magazines.