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Catherine Edmonds

Durham, North Carolina
Dr. Edmonds pictured smiling for the camera.

Appointed on January 19, 2023 for expertise in secondary or higher education.

Dr. Catherine Edmonds has served as the chief of staff at North Carolina Central University since May 1, 2022. In her role, Dr. Edmonds advises, supports, coordinates and collaborates on initiatives for NCCU’s Chancellor Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye. She provides leadership and direction for change management initiatives, project management and program development on behalf of Chancellor Akinleye, as well as plans and directs all administrative, financial and operational activities for the Office of the Chancellor. Dr. Edmonds works with and serves on NCCU’s Executive Leadership team and represents Chancellor Akinleye in select internal and external interactions with staff, faculty, committees, government representatives and community leaders.

A distinguished leader, Dr. Edmonds has over 30 years of experience in North Carolina, including numerous leadership roles in primary, secondary, and higher education. Previously, Dr. Edmonds served as deputy state superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In this senior leadership position, she worked closely with the State Superintendent and the senior leadership team. She led and partnered with relevant stakeholders to ensure the public education system was positioned to achieve equitable academic outcomes for all students in North Carolina. Dr. Edmonds also led statewide efforts related to diversity, equity and outreach; provided leadership to increase effectiveness in promoting equity and inclusion statewide; oversaw the implementation of the state’s equity plan; and served as the state’s leader for equity goals. She also supported schools, public school units and Regional Education Service Alliances in program and policy implementation and offered support and leadership to school districts.

Prior to joining the Department of Public Instruction, Dr. Edmonds served as a local school district superintendent for Bertie County Schools and Elizabeth City Pasquotank public schools. She was also director for Educational Leadership and Development and state director of the Principal Fellows Program for the University of North Carolina System. Additionally, Dr. Edmonds has served as director and executive coach for the Northeast Leadership Academy District and School Transformation at NC State University. In this role, she provided professional development, coaching, and technical assistance to aspiring school leaders in high-need schools. Dr. Edmonds began her career with Granville County Schools as a high school Math teacher and school principal before being named program director with the North Carolina New Schools Project and an instructional improvement officer for Guilford County Schools.

Dr. Edmonds serves on several boards and committees, including William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Cognia Accreditation Commission Appeals Committee, and NC Public School Forum Advisory Board.

Dr. Edmonds earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from North Carolina A&T State University, a Master of School Administration in Educational Leadership from North Carolina State University and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from North Carolina State University.