Dr. Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, a 1986 alumna of Fayetteville State University (FSU), has been elected the 17th National President of The Links, Inc. Leonard was tabbed for the post at the organization’s 41st National Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Links is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 15,000 professional women of color in 289 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
Leonard, a Fayetteville native and graduate of Reid Ross High School, has a broad background in public health. She has expertise in minority health and behavioral health programs, policies, and related legislation; with subject matter expertise in minority health, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, health disparities, health care reform, tribal issues, re-entry and criminal justice issues, international behavioral health, co-occurring mental health and trauma, and women’s and adolescent services. She has over 30 years of applied health, minority health, and behavioral medicine research, evaluation, and technical assistance and training experience specializing in health promotion and disease prevention.
Leonard earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Science Degree from North Carolina Central University. Her education also includes completing a National Institutes of Minority Health pre-doctoral fellowship at George Washington University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences examining chronic disease and family systems, a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute post-doctoral fellowship at the Howard University Cancer Center, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics studying cardiovascular and cancer epidemiology, and completing the Graduate Summer Program in Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She is the recipient of the 2005 National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Alumni of the Year Award for Fayetteville State University where she received her undergraduate degree in psychology.
Leonard is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and joined the organization through the Delta Alpha Chapter at FSU. She is a member of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. and is an Elder in the Church. She is married to Stephen V. Leonard and they are the proud parents of two sons – Victor and Alexander.
Fayetteville State University is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state, having been founded in 1867. FSU offers degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. With more than 6,200 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation. Chancellor James A. Anderson is the 11th chief executive officer.