Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr.
Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., assumed responsibility as the 30th president and CEO of Edward Waters College (EWC) (now Edward Waters University) in 2018 following a unanimous vote by the college’s board of trustees. Just 37 years old at the time of his appointment, Dr. Faison’s selection as EWU’s leader made him the youngest serving president and CEO of an historically Black college or university (HBCU).
A native of Atlanta, GA, Dr. Faison’s career exploits include distinguished professional experiences as a higher education executive administrator, educator, and attorney. Before his presidential appointment at EWU, Dr. Faison served as general counsel and vice president of external affairs at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL, where he maintained responsibility as the university’s chief legal officer and provided principal oversight for its legislative and governmental relations functions. Prior to his appointment at Tuskegee, he served as vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at Virginia Union University (VUU) in Richmond, VA, where he led the university in achieving historic increases in overall student enrollment and retention having founded the VUU College for African American Men. Dr. Faison also previously served as special assistant to the president for legal and legislative affairs, community affairs and economic development at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS, where he later became university chief of staff before being named vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the MVSU Foundation. Faison’s philanthropic work at MVSU yielded nearly $25 million dollars in funding to the university towards new capital projects, infrastructural improvements, and campus renovations. As a scholar-educator, he has held professorial appointments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in various academic disciplines including political science, criminal justice and business administration. A licensed member of the State Bar of Georgia, Faison is also a former state prosecutor having prosecuted criminal felony drug cases in Georgia.
Dr. Faison graduated magna cum laude from Albany State University (ASU) with a bachelor of arts in English where he was an ASU Presidential and Foundation Scholar, Dwight D. Eisenhower National Fellow, and an ASU Velma Fudge Grant University Honors Program and Merit Scholar Graduate. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law where he earned his juris doctorate and was a member of the UGA School of Law Executive Moot Court Board and UGA Law Moot Court team. He completed post-doctoral study as a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management and was a Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute Fellow of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and Association of Public Land-Grant Universities. Additionally, Dr. Faison has earned the Certification in Fundraising Management (CFRM) designation from The Fundraising School of Philanthropy at Indiana-University-Purdue-University at Indianapolis.
Dr. Faison is active in several professional, civic, and social organizations and has delivered more than 50 presentations and lectures at conferences and professional meetings nationwide. He currently serves as a member of the Jacksonville Civic Council, the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, the DW Perkins Bar Association, and is a trustee member of the Jacksonville Chamber. He has received national recognition for his outstanding professional, community and civic achievements from The Business Journals Influencers: Rising Stars 100; the Jacksonville Business Journal (Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40); the National Bar Association (Top 40 Attorneys Under 40); The University of Georgia (Top 40 Alumnus Under 40) and Albany State University (Top 50 Alumnus Under 50).
He is the son of Alderman Faison, Sr., and Dr. Jewel J. Faison, and brother to Dr. Morgan Zacheya-Jewel Faison. Dr. Faison has been blissfully married for 12 years to Tyciee L. Faison, who is also a seasoned higher education administrator, educator and ordained minister.