ATLANTA, GA – The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has named Kimberly Ballard-Washington permanent president of Savannah State University, effective immediately.

Kimberly Ballard-Washington, president of Savannah State University.

Ballard-Washington has served as Savannah State’s interim president since President Cheryl Dozier retired in June 2019. Prior to her appointment as interim president, she practiced law for 20 year advising the public universities and colleges within USG.

“Kimberly Ballard-Washington’s outstanding reputation and experience within public universities across the state make her the right person to build upon Savannah State’s legacy as the oldest public HBCU in Georgia,” said Steve Wrigley, USG Chancellor. “Kimberly has already made strong connections on campus and in the Savannah community, and I am confident she will maintain that momentum and advance SSU’s ultimate mission of helping more students attain their college degree.”

Ballard-Washington’s past experience includes as an associate vice chancellor for legal affairs at USG, an associate director for legal affairs at the University of Georgia and serving as assistant to the president for legal affairs and director of Equal Opportunity Programs at Valdosta State University. She also served as interim president at Fort Valley State University, before being tapped to lead Albany State University on an interim basis. She was previously named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” list.

“I am grateful for the confidence the Board of Regents and Chancellor Wrigley have shown in me and my leadership as we build upon Savannah State’s success and champion our students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater Savannah community,” said Ballard-Washington. “It’s humbling and affirming to be given this opportunity, and I am eager to continue leading Savannah State into a very bright future.”

A native of Montezuma, Ga., Ballard-Washington earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia. She earned her juris doctoragte from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.


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