Fisk University has announced the appointment of Agenia Walker Clark as its next president.

Clark will succeed Frank Sims, Fisk’s former board chair who has been serving as interim president since last year.

As she takes up her new post, effective November 6, Clark will be the 18th president and the third female to lead the institution.

Fisk University’s 18th president Agenia Walker Clark

“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,” says Juliette Pryor, chair of the Fisk Board of Trustees. “I know that Dr. Clark’s bold ideas will positively impact our campus community today while assuring a fast-growing trajectory for the future.”

Clark comes to Fisk with a long history of leadership in Nashville.

Clark has spent the last 19 years as the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and was recently named “Nashvillian of the Year” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2021. She has received many honors including being listed among “Nashville’s 100 Most Powerful People” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2020, and and named as the “Person-In-Charge” from 2014-2021 by The Nashville Post. She is also an inductee in the Academy for Women of Achievement and a member of the International Women’s Forum.

The newly appointed president also previously worked for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, Vanderbilt University, and Nortel Networks and currently sits on multiple boards, including FirstBank Financial, Belmont University, and Simmons University. She is also a trustee emerita for the Haslam School of Business board at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Clark holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in leadership from Vanderbilt 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,” Clark said in a press release. “No institution of higher-ed has a richer legacy — or a richer promise for the future — than Fisk.”