Newly appointed Dr. Dietra Trent began her tenure Monday as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The appointment of Trent comes at an appropriate time as we transition from Black History Month into Women’s History Month. Trent certainly has an impressive resume and her accolades suggest that she has the expertise to be another powerful woman who could become a great resource for HBCUs across the country.
Trent is a Hampton University alum who has more than 25 years of experience in working to advance equity in under-resourced communities. Trent was appointed as Virginia’s Secretary of Education in 2016 and has served under the administration of three Virginia governors.
In her latest roles before taking over as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Trent worked at George Mason University in roles that included the chief of staff and interim VP for Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics.
“Dr. Dietra Trent’s 25 years of experience in advancing equity and leading efforts to strengthen Virginia’s HBCUs is emblematic of the task in front of us. When I talked with her recently, she was anxious to get to work, just like a Hampton alumna would be,” said Dr. Tony Allen, Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). “This announcement is a clear example of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to ensuring HBCUs remain central engines of opportunity propelling thousands of citizens into the American middle class. Dr. Glover and I look forward to working with Dr. Trent in her new role.”
In the past, Trent has been a leading force in helping to strengthen Virginia’s HBCUs. Her knowledge on issues in higher education and on the federal and state levels has led to benefits for these institutions. During her tenure, Virginia HBCUs were spared from budget cuts, received state funding for student success centers, and were given state funds for need-based financial aid.
Trent steps into this role at a time when HBCUs are in a very pivotal moment. These institutions have arguably the most momentum they have ever had and the need for these institutions to continue to thrive is paramount. The Hampton alumna has a history of stepping into powerful positions and creating positive change.
Hopefully, as Trent starts her new journey, her efforts to advance HBCUs on a national scale will be fruitful.