Freeman A. Hrabowski III has served as president of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He also chairs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Hrabowski’s 2015 book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, looks back at his experiences with the civil rights movement and how they led him to develop programs promoting educational success in science and technology for African-Americans and others.
Hrabowski and UMBC were featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes in 2011, attracting national attention for the campus’s achievements in innovation and inclusive excellence. In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked UMBC the nation’s No. 1 “Up and Coming” university for six years (2009-14). TIME magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents in 2009 and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012. In 2011, Hrabowski received both the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence and the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, recognized by many as the nation’s highest awards among higher education leaders.
Hrabowski serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies and universities and school systems nationwide. He also serves on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, T. Rowe Price Group, The Urban Institute, McCormick & Company and the Baltimore Equitable Society. He previously served on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Maryland Humanities Council (member and chair).
With philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, Hrabowski co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program in 1988. The program is open to all high-achieving students committed to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in science and engineering, as well as advancing underrepresented minorities in these fields. The program is recognized as a national model and based on the program’s outcomes, Hrabowski has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds, focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science.