Press Releases

Mills College Appoints Martha A. Crunkleton to the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership

Oakland, CA–May 16, 2013 Mills College is pleased to announce the appointment of Martha A. Crunkleton to the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership for 2013–16.

Established in 2006, the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership was named in honor of Mills alumna and senior US Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her outstanding leadership in politics, policy, and social justice. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, appointees lead scholarly seminars on emerging social issues and expand discussions at Mills on community, national, and international affairs.

“The Barbara Lee Chair attracts exemplary scholars to teach at Mills,” said Mills College Provost Sandra C. Greer. “Martha Crunkleton’s accomplished background in higher education and her extensive experience with diplomatic efforts around the world will provide a multifaceted global perspective to the Public Policy Department at Mills.”

Since 2005, Crunkleton has served as a diplomat for the US State Department in Mexico, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. She received a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Duke University, a master of arts degree in religion from Vanderbilt University, and a doctorate in philosophy of religion from Vanderbilt University. She has served on the faculties at Bates College and at Pitzer College and was vice president for academic affairs at both colleges. In addition, she was the executive director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Crunkleton will play a pivotal role in Mills’ partnership in the Women in Public Service Project, joining leading women’s colleges and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in training a new generation of women to enter the public sector. She will provide curricular oversight when Mills College hosts the Women in Public Service Project's Institute for Women's Leadership in Latin America in 2015.

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit


Last Updated: 5/16/13