Dr. Lawrence M. Drake II

As the first in his family to earn a college degree, Dr. Drake began at Fisk University in 1972, ultimately returning in 2021 to finally complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elected Studies. Dr. Drake had already received his first BA from Georgia State University in 1977. He went on to earn an MBA from Rockhurst University in 1990 where he was an Executive Fellow. In 2013, he was awarded an MA in Psychology from APA-accredited Fielding Graduate University and earned a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Media Psychology in 2015. He also holds certifications from the prestigious International Coaching Federation and is a member of Forbes Magazine’s Coaches Council. Dr. Drake currently serves as Dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Bethune-Cookman University, and is the President and CEO of LEADership, Education and Development (LEAD), with both organizations focused on developing equal learning access models targeting a wide variety of learners, emphasizing a focus on assisting under-resourced communities and individuals with acquiring and applying 21st century skills and competencies.

Dr. Drake’s scholarship and research interests include but are not limited to effects of human behavior at the intersection of cognitive science, applied psychology media innovation and immersive learning. An extension of his literary interest includes his latest book “Color Him Father” (2019) which has received critical acclaim within the US and around the world on the subject of Black parenthood and the myths about “Black Fatherhood.” He has also written several papers or articles related to his field of research and has been featured in articles including “Inroads: Preparing The Pipeline,” Harvard Business Review (1990), “Stories About Black Men and Their Consequences,” National Academy of Medicine (February, 2018),” The Effects of Domestic Violence Ideology, Media Narratives and Images on Male Victimization,” Fielding Graduate University (2012), and “Digital Literacy and the Achievement Gap” (2011). He’s been featured in several publications including: “The Color of Success,” Black Enterprise (2010), “Business Success Beyond America,” The Network Journal (2005), “Room at the Top: PepsiCo’s KFC Unit scouts for Blacks and Women for its Top Echelons,” Wall Street Journal (1991). “Watching Black Panther with racially diverse youth: relationships between film viewing, ethnicity, ethnic identity, empowerment, and wellbeing.” Review of Communication (2020).

Dr. Drake has presented at scientific sessions including the American Psychological Association (APA) annual meeting where he led a panel on the topic “Two Kinds of Presence: A Comparative Analysis of Face-to-Face and Technology–Based Mediated Communication Methods and The Executive Coaching Experience.”

Prior to joining B-CU and LEAD, Dr. Drake served as Chairman of HOPE 360 INC, an executive development consultancy. He previously has served as interim President/CEO, The Executive Leadership Council, President of Haven Media Group, SVP/GM Cablevision Systems Corp, and VP/GM, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) Division formerly owned by PepsiCo, where he was responsible for 1200 restaurants, 6000 employees, and $900M in revenue.

In addition, Dr. Drake enjoyed an impressive 21-year career with The Coca-Cola Company, holding several key positions with the organization beginning in 1980. During his tenure, he served as Division President & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company’s Nigeria and Equatorial Africa Division which consisted of 15 West African countries, responsible for the company’s operating effectiveness and financial performance throughout the western portion of the continent. This role included political engagement, public policy, and advocacy across a landscape of very diverse countries while working globally with franchise ownership partners across Africa, Greece, Europe, Latin America, and the US. The Division was part of Coca-Cola’s $4B enterprise comprised of 54 countries and 2 independent territories across the continent. Relocating over 20 times, between, 1980 – 2007 prior to his appointment as Division President and CEO, Dr. Drake also held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including Managing Director of The Africa Group, Director, Northeast US Account Group, Region Vice-President Operations, and Director, Sales Development.

Dr. Drake has shown throughout his career to be highly successful in collaborating and working with various public/private boards of directors, serving in such board roles as Chairman, President, member of the Executive Committee, Audit Committee, Nominations Committee, Compensation Committee, and Fundraising Committee. Past and current board service includes, Groundswell SPC, The Executive Leadership Council & Foundation, The National Conference for Community & Justice, The California Science Center, Crystal Stairs Inc., Nehemiah Project Ministries International, Judson University, Jarvis Christian College, and is a distinguished member of Leadership Atlanta and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

When he is not leading organizations, writing, or serving his community, Dr. Drake enjoys spending quality time with his wife, three daughters, two sons and his six amazing grandchildren.