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Houston Branch Board of Directors

Ruth J. Simmons

Former President
Prairie View A&M University
Humble, Texas

Ruth J. SimmonsRuth J. Simmons joined the Houston Branch board in 2020.

Simmons is former president of Prairie View A&M University. Previously, she was president and professor of comparative literature and Africana studies at Brown University from 2001 to 2012.

She also has served as president of Smith College as well as in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University and Spelman College.

Simmons serves on many nonprofit boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Holdsworth Center and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Alley Theatre. She is also a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society and Council on Foreign Relations.

Simmons earned a Ph.D. in Romance languages and literature at Harvard University.