Leonard L. Haynes III was named executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) in October 2007, by the then secretary of education with the support of the White House, to implement Executive Order 13256. As executive director of WHIHBCU, Haynes is responsible for staffing the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs and for implementing the objectives of the presidential executive order that establishes the initiative.
Haynes comes to the position with a distinguished career and background as an educator and public servant. Previously, he served as director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) in the Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, acting president of Grambling State University, assistant secretary for postsecondary education, director of academic programs at the United States Information Agency (USIA), senior assistant to the president of American University, executive vice president of the Southern University System, and director of the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges, which represents the nation's HBCUs that are publicly supported.
Haynes has been a member of the faculties of Southern University, Howard University, and George Washington University, where he taught in the fields of history and public policy. He has published on matters relating to equity and parity for minority populations and their education. In this regard, he is recognized as an expert on the desegregation of public higher education, especially as it impacts public black colleges. He has served as a commentator on both radio and television on education and related topics.
Haynes has also been recognized for making important contributions to advancing the cause of international higher education and the public diplomacy efforts of the United States. He was a member of the United States Observer Delegation to the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in 2003 and was a principal member of the United States Delegation to the 50th Anniversary AMIDEAST Conference in 2002 in Marrakech, Morocco. In 1992, he led the U.S. Delegation to the North American Talks on Higher Education Cooperation involving Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., held at the Johnson Foundation in Wisconsin, which resulted in the creation of the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education. As assistant secretary for postsecondary education, Haynes helped establish the academic mobility program between the U.S. and the European Community, now known as the "EU-U.S. Atlantis Program," which creates international dual degrees in higher education.
Recognized for his work in the education community at large, Haynes has provided counsel and technical assistance for many organizations and groups, including the Brookings Institution, the Education Commission of the States, the Embassy of Canada, the Ford and Southern Education foundations, and numerous others in both the non-profit and private sectors. He has also served as a consultant to U.S. and international postsecondary institutions and to many private-sector organizations, and as an evaluator for government agencies and regional accreditation bodies.
Haynes earned a bachelor's degree in history from Southern University, a master's degree in American history from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the Ohio State University. He is a career member of the Senior Executive Service for the United States and also a member of many societies, boards, commissions, and civic, social, and professional organizations, including, HistoryMakers, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Black America, Rotary International of Washington D.C., Phi Delta Kappa, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was a principal at the former Council for Excellence in Government and has been the recipient of numerous recognitions and honors for making positive contributions in advancing the cause of education and the common good. In May 2006, he was recognized by the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and Management of the Ohio State University as the 16th recipient of the school's Excellence in Public Service Award and has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Southern University. Haynes is the recipient of 12 honorary degrees, including one from the Ohio State University. An accomplished speaker and presenter, Haynes has served as a commencement speaker and given countless keynotes in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.
Haynes was born in Boston, Mass., and is married to the former Mary J. Sensley. They are the parents of four children and four grandchildren. Haynes and his wife reside in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.