Dietra Trent is the new executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The organization was founded in 1980 as the White House Initiative on HBCUs to “achieve a significant increase in the participation by historically Black colleges and universities in federally sponsored programs.” The initiative is now charged with “advancing educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity through HBCUs, in partnership with HBCU leaders, representatives, students, and alumni.”
Since 2019, Dr. Trent has been serving as chief of staff for the president of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Earlier, she was secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, after serving as deputy secretary of education and director of constituent services under earlier state administrations.
Dr. Trent is a graduate of Virginia State University, where she majored in criminal justice. She holds a master of public administration degree and a Ph.D. in public policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.