ABOUT DR. EZELL
(Dr. Ezell with Dr. Alisher Faizullaev, former Uzebekistan Ambassador to NATO & European Union)
Dr. Darrell Ezell is a recognized visionary in higher education with over a decade of experience shaped by his time in academia, government, and the non-profit sector. He is a social scientist with research and practitioner-based experience in international diplomacy and cross-cultural relations. He is an administrator with expertise in higher education transformation and innovation, academic affairs, and diversity and inclusion. He has excelled as a senior administrator, building high performing graduate degree programs, establishing strategic academic and corporate partnerships, and leading a new non-profit graduate university (Claremont Lincoln University) to initial regional WSCUC accreditation. As a senior leader, he has direct experience as a trusted advisor to the president, briefing board members as an academic affairs committee liaison, and serving as a collegial member on the executive cabinet. His technology expertise reach into launching new graduate online degree and certificate programs that satisfy employer demand, utilizing data analytics to make evidence-based decisions, hosting digital conferences, and introducing innovative solutions to enrich faculty development. As a cabinet member, he has participated in university-wide fundraising initiatives as comprehensive, capital campaigns and grant-based initiatives. His commitment to undergraduate education is marked by his service in the Department of Political Science and International Studies Program at Louisiana State University, serving on the faculty at Tulane University, and as a current member of the Board of Trustees at Rust College in Mississippi.
In 2014, Dr. Ezell was recruited to join the administration and transition-team of Claremont Lincoln University with responsibilities to launch a new private non-profit graduate university from incubation status at Claremont School of Theology. He has served in various capacities of university administration. As Vice President for Academic Affairs at Claremont Lincoln University, his time in this role was marked by expanding and restructuring the Office of Academic Affairs to ensure program demand and curriculum enhancement, launching online graduate and executive education certificate programs, utilizing predictive data analysis to improve digital marketing and enrollment, and implementing a 2019 academic expansion and innovation plan to launch new degree programs. His previous roles include Dean of the M.A. in Interfaith Action Program (renamed Peace & Social Justice), Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Foreign Affairs, and Founding Program Director of the M.A. in Interfaith Action degree. In January 2019, Dr. Ezell was awarded the Visionary Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the University’s mission and David C. Lincoln’s vision.
As a social scientist, Dr. Ezell’s academic career is deeply rooted in interdisciplinary teaching and research in the fields of religion and conflict resolution with a particular focus on public diplomacy and peacemaking. Beginning at Louisiana State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor, he taught in both the Department of Political Science and International Studies Program and served on faculty in the Department of Political Science at Tulane University. He has lectured widely on topics related to religion-based peacemaking, diversity and inclusion, and contemporary global issues. At Claremont Lincoln, he designed and taught graduate courses in the Interfaith Action/Peace & Social Justice and graduate Capstone programs and led teams to design graduate-level courses through curriculum labs in the Ethical Leadership, Technology Management, Crisis Management, Higher Education, and Social Impact degree programs.
Dr. Ezell has held several prestigious fellowships and delivered over 40 presentations and lectures at conferences and professional meetings in the U.S. and abroad. Most notably, he is the author of Beyond Cairo: U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan) and author of numerous essays, web articles, and reviews. Some outlets include The Huffington Post, Fair Observer, and EA Worldview, USC's Center for Public Diplomacy Perspectives on Public Diplomacy. In 2012, his expertise in international affairs led to his serving as a Global Expert with the United Nations Global Experts Program/Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). Committed to global interfaith education, he presented key findings on ideological violence and hate speech at the 2016 Parliament for the World’s Religions (Salt Lake City, UT) and authored Exploring the Role and Importance of Interfaith in the Year 2020.
Additionally, Dr. Ezell has held posts in both the government and non-profit sectors. At the U.S. Department of State, he served in the Office of Peacekeeping, Sanctions and Counterterrorism focusing on post-9/11 U.S.-U.N. relations and with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (Clinton Foundation) as a doctoral researcher exploring cross-cultural communication theory and global peace-building project. His non-profit work is marked by leading social justice campaigns and building grassroots programs with the Interfaith Center of New York in 2004 and later with Interfaith Worker Justice that demonstrated his commitment to social justice and advocacy for immigrant and labor rights. His social justice work as a labor rights activist in the rural south is highlighted in the award-winning John Fiege documentary, Mississippi Chicken (2007).
Dr. Ezell graduated from Alabama A&M University with a B.A. in Psychology (honors), and as an Exxon/Mobil-Tom Joyner Fellow and Presidential Scholar. His graduate training includes a M.A. in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and a Ph.D. in Religion and International Affairs from The University of Birmingham in England where he was awarded the Nali Dinshaw Dissertation Prize. His post-doctoral training includes earning a graduate certificate in Higher Education Administration at Northeastern University, Fundraising at Indiana University (The Fundraising School), Financial Understanding at Cornell University, and in Leadership Principles from Harvard Business School.
His commitment to higher education is marked by his service on the Board of Trustees at Rust College. Ezell is a member of numerous professional, civic, and social organizations and associations. Several include membership the National Eagle Scout Association, Sigma Pi Phi (Epsilon Tau Boule), Kappa Alpha Psi, Free and Accepted Masons (Evening Star Lodge #6), The Sierra Club, the International Studies Association, the American Association of University Administrators, the American Conference of Academic Deans, the International Leadership Association, and Psi Chi Honor Society. He is also the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, one of which includes being inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College in 2017.
Ezell resides in California and enjoys spending time with family, yoga, and urban gardening.