Jabari Simama, Ph.D. - Executive Assistant to President & Vice President, Community Development/External Relations

Dr. Jabari Simama is currently Executive Assistant to the President and Vice President of Community Development/External Relations at Benedict College. He is also Vice President of the Division of Community Development. In this cabinet-level post, Dr. Simama supports the president in critical aspects of the presidency particularly fund-raising, external and political relations, budget and strategic planning, and communications. He is also responsible for personnel management, development and implementation of the Division’s strategic plan, SACS assessments, and growth of the Division.

Dr. Simama also founded national annual conferences on “Broadband in Cities and Towns.” This year’s conference was successful with attendees from 13 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Prior to Benedict College, Dr. Simama served as executive director of the City of Atlanta, GA Office of Community Technology where he was the chief executive officer for the Mayor’s $10 million initiative to address the education and workforce related digital divide between the city’s information haves and information have-nots. Dr. Simama served seven years in total heading up executive offices for two mayors of Atlanta (including Mayor Shirley Franklin, the current mayor). He was the former Chief of Communication and spokesperson for the City of Atlanta and a former (two-term) member of the Atlanta City Council. Dr. Simama was elected by his city council peers to serve as a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority (MAOGA), the state authority that oversaw the 1996 Olympic Games committee.

Dr. Simama is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta where he received a Ph.D. in American Studies. In addition to a Ph.D., he holds a M.A. from the former Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) and a B.S. from the University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Connecticut). He also holds a certificate from the Institute of Educational Management (IEM) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Dr. Simama is a native of Columbia, Missouri where he graduated from David Hickman High School and lettered in football and track. He is a member of Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta and is married to Nisha Simama, a lifelong educator.

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