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Global Perspectives with Ruth J. Simmons

September 05, 2019 Dallas Fed

Ruth J. Simmons talks about her upbringing and what led her to a career in academia. She also shares advice about how we can improve the education experiences from young children to college students.

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About Ruth J. Simmons

Simmons serves as president of Prairie View A&M University. She was president and professor of comparative literature and Africana studies at Brown University from 2001 to 2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as a research university.

Early in her career, she served in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University and Spelman College. In 1999, she was named president of Smith College, the largest U.S. women’s college.

Simmons has received honors that include a Fulbright fellowship to France, the President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. In 2011, she received the Brown faculty’s highest honor, the Susan Colver Rosenberger Medal. In 2012, the president of France named her a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor.

Simmons is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on corporate boards as well as a number of nonprofit boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Holdsworth Center and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Simmons completed her PhD in romance languages and literatures at Harvard.

For event and registration questions, contact Jenna Dillenback at jenna.dillenback@dal.frb.org.

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