The Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell, J.D., began her service as the director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education on Dec. 13, 2010. She provides leadership to help meet the goal of engaging community-based organizations, both faith-based and secular in building a culture of high expectations and support for education. Girton-Mitchell also works as part of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to implement its mission in cooperation with the Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at 12 other federal agencies.
Her professional life includes working as an elementary school teacher and serving as the president of the Indianapolis Education Association in her hometown, Indianapolis, Ind.; legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, legislative counsel for Sears, assistant executive director for president Dorothy Height at the National Council of Negro Women, and director of diversity for Mitsubishi Motors of America. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Girton-Mitchell served the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA as associate general secretary for justice and advocacy.
Girton-Mitchell received a bachelor of science degree from Ball State University, a master of science from IndianaPurdue University in Indianapolis, a law degree from the ChicagoKent College of Law and a master of divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary. She is an advocate of lifelong learning.
She is an ordained Baptist minister and is actively involved in the ecumenical and community organizations. She also serves as minister for stewardship and missions at Metropolitan Baptist Church.
A recipient of numerous awards, she has received the National Council of Negro Women Bethune Recognition Award for an Outstanding Woman in Ministry, the National Bar Association's Presidential Award, and the Sagamore of the Wabash Awardthe highest award given by the state of Indianaand was inducted into the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr., International Board of Preachers. She has also received the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major for Service Award. In 2008, she received the John Wesley Award of Merit, the highest award presented by Wesley Theological Seminary.
Girton-Mitchell and her husband, James Mitchell, reside in Silver Spring, Md.