President's Biography



Kimberly Ballard-Washington, J.D. 
President of Savannah State University

Savannah State University President Kimberly Ballard-Washington was appointed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on May 13, 2021, after serving as the university’s interim president since July 1, 2019. 

President Ballard-Washington has practiced law in the state of Georgia for 20 years and most recently served the University System of Georgia (USG) as associate vice chancellor for Legal Affairs and as the assistant secretary to the Board of Regents (BOR). She honed her skills as an advocate for fairness and justice, serving as the BOR’s primary legal advisor on student, faculty, and employment issues. This role also gave her the opportunity to work directly with and provide advice and counsel to the USG university presidents and their leadership teams. She was also tasked with leading USG’s efforts in (the Education Amendments of 1972’s) Title IX administration.

President Ballard-Washington previously served as an associate director for legal affairs at the University of Georgia and as assistant to the president for Legal Affairs and director of Equal Opportunity Programs at Valdosta State University. In 2013, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby asked then-associate Vice Chancellor Ballard-Washington to serve as interim president at Fort Valley State University, followed by an opportunity to lead Albany State University on an interim basis. To date, President Ballard-Washington is the only person to have led all three of Georgia’s public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

Earlier in her career, she was named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” list. In 2019, President Ballard-Washington completed the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Institute. She is currently participating in AASCU’s New Presidents Academy.

President Ballard-Washington also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Coastal Empire, co-chairing the Race, Equity and Opportunity Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah. She also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Islands Hospice, Bethesda Academy, and the American Red Cross’ Southeast Georgia Chapter.  

Born and raised in Montezuma, Georgia, President Ballard-Washington received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia. She earned her Juris Doctorate at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where she was a leader in the Black Law Students Association and the Student Bar Association. 

President Ballard-Washington’s career has been balanced by her role as wife to her husband, Craig, and as the mother to two incredible daughters, Kristen and Kerri.