Angela L. Walker Franklin, a native of McCormick, South Carolina, is a 1981 Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of Furman University, a small liberal arts college in Greenville, South Carolina. A licensed clinical psychologist, she completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1985 at Emory University, followed by a yearlong clinical internship at Grady Memorial Hospital. Dr. Franklin recently concluded her fourth term on the board of trustees of Furman University.
Angela L. Walker Franklin, who became Des Moines University’s 15th president in the spring of 2011, has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. Previously, she was executive vice president and provost at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she oversaw academic and administrative departments. She served as acting president during the summer of 2009 and held a professorship in Meharry’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Prior to her role at Meharry, Dr. Franklin held several positions at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, including, vice dean, associate vice president for academic and student affairs, associate dean for student affairs, director of counseling services and assistant professor of psychiatry.
A former American Council on Education Fellow (2001-02), Dr. Franklin is also a 2004 protégé of the Millennium Leadership Institute which is sponsored by the Association of State Colleges and Universities in preparing the next generation of leaders in higher education. She also participated in the 2008 Prospective President’s Workshop of the United Methodist Church-affiliated Schools.
Since becoming the 15th President of Des Moines University in March 2011, Dr. Franklin has completed a new strategic plan, beginning with updating the university mission and vision statements. She has reorganized several administrative units and embraced change in restructuring the university clinic to become a better resource for the training programs as well as the surrounding community.
Dr. Franklin has become actively involved in the Des Moines Community, now serving on the boards of the Science Center of Iowa, Bankers Trust, The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Harkin Institute, United Way of Central Iowa and the GDMP Workforce Development/Education Board. She also serves as a board member of the nationally recognized Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) and currently chairs the United Way of Des Moines Iowa Health Cabinet. In January 2013 she was named chair of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women movement in Des Moines and also served as the 2014 chair. In September 2013 Dr. Franklin was honored by the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids as an African American History Maker, received the Inspire Award from Dress for Success Des Moines in May 2014 and was also honored as a Woman of Influence by the Business Record in August 2014. In 2015, Dr. Franklin served as chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Community Health Needs Assessment Mental Health workgroup and also as chair of the JDRF (Junior Diabetes Research Foundation) Walk to Cure Diabetes. She also received the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award from the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Lastly, Dr. Franklin provides insight into her vision for DMU by speaking to numerous civic organizations, alumni, and others in Des Moines and around the country.