The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Speaker | Angela L. Walker Franklin

Angela L. Walker Franklin
President, Des Moines University

Angela L. Walker Franklin, who became Des Moines University’s 15th president in the  spring of 2011, is a native of McCormick, South Carolina and a Phi Beta Kappa and magna  cum laude graduate of Furman University. A licensed clinical psychologist, she completed  her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Emory University, followed by a year-long clinical  internship at Grady Memorial Hospital. 

Angela L. Walker Franklin has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. Prior to her arrival at  DMU, she held faculty and administrative positions at both Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta,  Georgia and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Since becoming the 15th President of Des Moines University, Dr. Franklin has published the university  history entitled, “Now is the Time, Des Moines is the Place” which chronicles a 100+ year history of  training health care professionals. She has established institutional goals and priorities for the future  and recently launched Purple and Proud, a $25 million dollar fund raising campaign. Most recently she  also announced the decision to relocate the campus to West Des Moines where the university  purchased 88 acres of land.

Dr. Franklin has become actively involved in the Des Moines Community, now serving on the boards of  Bankers Trust, The Greater Des Moines Partnership and The Harkin National Advisory Council. She is also  Chair of the Assembly of Presidents of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine  (AACOM). In addition, Dr. Franklin is a former board member of the nationally recognized Association of  Academic Health Centers (AAHC), United Way of Central Iowa, the Science Center of Iowa, and past Chair  of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Workforce Development/Education Board and United Way Health  Cabinet.

Awards she has received include: 2017 American Psychological Association Training Advisory Committee  Special Award, 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award from the Iowa Department of Human  Rights, the 2015 Mary McLeod Bethune Award (Educator of the Year) from the Iowa Juneteenth  Observance Committee, the 2014 Women of Influence Award from the Des Moines Business Record, the  2014 Inspire Award from Dress for Success, and the 2013 African American History Maker Award from the  African American Museum of Iowa.

Dr. Franklin is an inspirational leader and author of her 2014 published memoir, “An Unconventional  Journey… An Unlikely Choice,” which chronicles her journey to the college presidency and lessons  learned in leadership. Dr. Franklin has been featured in several local and national publications and speaks locally and around the country on the topics of women leaders, principles of leadership, and  building a culturally competent and diverse workforce.

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