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Mary Schmidt Campbell

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., is president emerita of Spelman College, a leading women’s college dedicated to the education and global leadership of Black women. Before coming to Spelman, she served for over two decades as dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. An art historian and former curator, Campbell began her career in New York as executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the country’s first accredited Black fine arts museum and a linchpin in Harlem’s redevelopment. She served as commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs under two mayors and in 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the boards of the Doris Duke Foundation, Unity Technologies and the American Museum of Natural History.

In 2017, Campbell was appointed to serve as a member of the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers in the city of New York. She completed a biography of Romare Bearden for Oxford University Press in 2018 and contributed an essay to "Are the Arts Essential," published by New York University Press in 2022. Campbell received a Bachelor of Art degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in art history from Syracuse University and a doctorate in humanities from Syracuse. She and her husband, Dr. George Campbell, Jr., president emeritus of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, are the parents of three sons and have eight grandchildren.