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 Robert Michael Franklin, Jr.

Robert M. Franklin, Ph.D. is President Emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he served as its 10th president from 2007 to 2012. Morehouse College is the only school in America committed to the development of African American men.  


Franklin is the Senior Advisor to the President of Emory University and holds the James T. and Berta R. Laney Chair in Moral Leadership. Before joining Emory, Franklin was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Institute and Director of the Interfaith Religion Department at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. An ordained minister, Franklin served as President of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta from 1997 to 2002.

A celebrated author, Franklin has published four books: Moral Leadership: Integrity, Courage, Imagination (2020)Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (2007); Another Day's Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African-American Thought (1990).


Franklin is a sought-after speaker, lecturer, and columnist who has provided engaging commentary for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” CNN, WABE Radio, Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to name a few. An outspoken community leader, Franklin’s career spans religious, social, and educational sectors.  He was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to serve on the Task Force for the Promotion of the Public Trust to review the city’s ethics, transparency, and compliance guidelines. He currently serves on the board of the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and the HomeFirst Community Oversight Board in Atlanta.

Franklin has also served as:

  • Program Officer at the Ford Foundation. He was instrumental in earmarking funds for nonprofits and schools in Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, where he has resided for more than 30 years; 

  • President of the Regional Council of Churches. During Hurricane Katrina he mobilized Atlanta’s faith community to help New Orleans residents;

  • Partner to Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, and Chick-fil-A to promote community economic development;

  • Presidential Fellow at Morehouse College’s Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership; 

  • Advisory Board member for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Human Rights Campaign


Active in civic organizations, Franklin is a past board member of the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund in Jacksonville, FL, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Falcons Community Advisory Board, and Public Broadcasting of Atlanta.


Franklin earned a B.A. degree from Morehouse College and was a Union Scholar at Durham University in the United Kingdom.  He received a Master’s in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a Doctorate in Divinity from the University of Chicago.  He holds honorary degrees from Bethune Cookman University, Ursinus College, Bates College, Hampden-Sydney College, Centre College, University of New England, and Swarthmore College. 


Franklin and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Goffney Franklin, a gynecologist at Morehouse Healthcare, are the proud parents of three children.

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