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Civic leader Barbara Howard joins ASU as University Fellow


Barbara Howard headshot

Barbara Howard

January 05, 2022

Barbara Howard, a leader in civic life, philanthropy and the arts, will join Arizona State University next month as a University Fellow for nonprofit leadership. 

Howard will start in early February, working with leaders and faculty members from across the institution in areas such as cultural affairs, nonprofit leadership, philanthropic advancement and museum programming. 

“I love to be of service to others through fundraising, event planning and, most importantly, relationship building, and I am excited to continue that service now with ASU,” Howard said. 

Howard for the last five years has served as a board member of The Frick Pittsburgh, the prestigious museum whose collection includes fine art, cars, carriages, historic objects and buildings. She is the co-chair of the board’s governance and diversity and equity committees.

Since 2017, she has served on the board of directors of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, now serving as the board vice president. She also serves on the board of trustees for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and serves as a program board member for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

In her first year at ASU, Howard will work with cultural affairs, Gammage Auditorium and nonprofit leadership, among other groups.

“Barbara Howard is a welcome addition, bringing a wealth of cultural experience and knowledge to ASU,’’ said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, university vice president for cultural affairs and executive director of ASU Gammage. “We look forward to her passion and innovative partnerships as she joins our team.” 

“I very much look forward to working with Barbara to advance ASU and its role in driving the social, cultural and economic success of our region, state and nation in new and creative ways,” ASU President Michael Crow said.

Born in South Africa, for more than two decades, Howard served as executive director of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, an international nonprofit organization providing opportunities for underprivileged South African students of color. She managed fundraising, communications, logistics and publicity for the nonprofit that brings students to the United States to visit historical, professional and educational venues to enlighten and educate.

She coordinated mentorship programs for Impact Young Lives scholars, partnered with local South African nonprofits and established an internship program with universities, including Morehouse College and the University of Oklahoma. Howard helped bring 100 students through the program and raised more than $400,000 from American businesses and individuals. She has joined the organization’s board.

She also served as director of development for the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma from 2007–09. There, she developed a database to track Honors College graduates, which was utilized in a campaign to raise $100 million for college scholarships. She raised $1 million from a Fortune 25 company toward scholarships for Honors College engineering students, and worked closely with faculty and staff to establish a cultural immersion program that included studying abroad, exposure to the arts, mentorship and professional development.

Howard holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University.