Howard University has appointed Stacey Abrams as its first Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics, the HBCU announced in a Wednesday news release.

“I am honored to serve as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics,” Abrams said. “We are at an inflection point for American and international democracy, and I look forward to engaging Howard University’s extraordinary students in a conversation about where they can influence, shape and direct the critical public policy decisions we face.”

Abrams’ role will focus on interdisciplinary collaboration on race and Black political issues across the university. She will also invite guest speakers as she leads the university’s Ronald W. Walters Speakers Series. According to The Washington Post, she is expected to be appointed in September 2023. Abrams will remain based in Georgia although she is set to travel to Washington, D.C., where Howard University is located.

“Stacey Abrams has proven herself an essential voice and eager participant in protecting American democracy – not just for certain populations, but for everyone with the fundamental right to make their voices heard,” Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said.

Abrams started her political career as the Democratic leader of the Georgia General Assembly, a position she occupied from 2007 to 2017. In 2018, Abrams became the first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. According to The Washington Post, she lost the election by less than 2% of the vote.

She became nationally known for mobilizing Black voters in Georgia and campaigning for voter registration during the 2020 presidential election.

She is also the author of 15 books, including biographies, political thrillers, entrepreneurial guidebooks and children’s books.