Emily M. Dickens, J.D.
SVP, General Counsel & Chief Relationship Officer
|A native of Queens, New York, Emily is a first generation college graduate with over a decade of significant and progressive experience in public affairs, political/strategic counsel, board relations, community relations and crisis communications. Her prior experience includes working for two executives at Duke University, the vice president for institutional equity and the university architect, serving as a staffer in the Mayor’s Office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the director of government and community relations at Fayetteville State University and the assistant vice president for federal relations at the University of North Carolina system office.
Most recently Emily served as the vice president for public policy and executive director for the center for trusteeship and governance at the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC. There she worked with the nation’s board leaders and executives on federal and state higher education issues critical to their institutions’ success. She was responsible for a Center that generated almost double its revenue from the prior year and increased the number of publications on issues related to governance of public institutions of higher education.
On January 3, 2017, Emily began her tenure with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund as senior vice president, general counsel, and chief relationship officer. In this role she will contribute to TMCF’s overall mission, providing entrepreneurial leadership and strategic direction to strengthen and enhance relationships with our board of directors and member-schools and to execute strategic initiatives and special projects critical to TMCF’s long-term success.
Emily is actively engaged in board service. She is currently serving a second term on the board of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Educational Advancement Foundation. She was appointed serves chairman of the development committee.
After several years as a member of the scholarship committee, in 2013, Emily was elected to the board of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA). In October 2016, she was elected secretary of the board.
In the fall of 2016, Emily was appointed to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at her undergraduate alma mater, North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She serves as a member of the endowment committee.
A graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law, Emily was a recipient of the Dean’s Leadership Award. She was also a North Carolina Central University 2014 40under40 honoree.
She is married to Wallace Sellars, Jr., a K-12 administrator, and NCCU graduate.