August 28, 2015

Guyanese scholar now president of Fort Valley State University

Dr Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York, has been named as the

Dr Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

Dr Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

ninth president of Fort Valley State University by the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. The board’s vote was unanimous, a release stated.

Griffith will assume his new post on July 22, according to board chairman “Dink” NeSmith. “Dr Griffith was the outstanding candidate,” said NeSmith. “He has this board’s full support to provide the leadership Fort Valley State University needs at this moment. We are excited about his presidency and delighted he will become the university’s next president. This is a great day for Fort Valley.”

University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby said, “The board of regents has made an outstanding selection for the next president of Fort Valley State University. Dr Griffith is an accomplished scholar whose career and academic training will take this institution to a level of achievement and quality so critical in the global world of tomorrow. I and the other members of my staff are totally committed to supporting President Griffith as he leads the students, faculty, and the extended Fort Valley community into the future. I know all who are committed to assuring a successful future for the university will lend their support to President Griffith’s administration.”

Griffith has served as provost at York College since 2007 and during his tenure has increased the number of full-time faculty by 30 per cent, reorganised the academic division, and enhanced the research and scholarly climate by creating a Provost Lecture Series and a companion Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series, among other initiatives. Griffith also has established an undergraduate student research programme.

Before being named provost at York College, Griffith, in addition to his teaching duties as a tenured professor of political science, served as provost at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. He was budget dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University in Miami, as well as dean of the FIU Honours College.


Griffith is a specialist on Caribbean security, drugs, and crime. In this capacity, he has been a consultant to Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ministry, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other organisations.

He also has spoken at military academies across the United States and in the Caribbean, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Security and Defence Studies Review, which is published by the Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies, in Washington, DC.

A past president of the Caribbean Studies Association, he has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the George Marshall European Centre for Security Studies in Germany. He has testified before the United States Congress on Caribbean security matters.


Griffith has published seven books and more than 50 articles on his area of expertise. The research for his highly acclaimed book, Drugs and Security in the Caribbean: Sovereignty Under Siege, was funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and his eighth book, Challenged Sovereignty, will be published next year by the University of Illinois Press.

Most recently, he was one of 45 experts invited by the Organisation of American States secretary general to review the hemisphere’s narcotics policies and practices and propose anti-narcotics scenarios. A member of The 100 Black Men of Long Island, he also serves on the vestry of the St George’s Episcopal Church in Long Island, and on the board of directors of the Jamaica Centre for Arts and Learning in Queens, New York.

Griffith earned a bachelor of social sciences from the University of Guyana, a master of arts degree in political science and public administration from Long Island University, New York; and a master of philosophy and doctorate in political science from the City University of New York. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s educational leadership programme.

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