Howard University issued the following announcement on Aug. 9.
Howard University alumna, Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D. has been elected the 17th president of The Links, Incorporated. The organization made the announcement at its 41st National Assembly held in Indianapolis, Ind. The Links is one of the nation’s oldest and largest women’s volunteer service organizations dedicated to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. There are over 15,000 women of color represented in chapters across the United States, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.
Howard Alumna Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D.Following in the footsteps of her mother, Marye J. Jeffries, Ph.D., of the Fayetteville, N.C. Chapter, Jeffries Leonard joined The Links over 20 years ago as a member of the Arlington, Va. chapter. She earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Howard University where many of her mentors, department deans, and other alumnae were also members of The Links.
“There were a lot of Links at Howard University who were very supportive of me during my tenure and matriculation who I saw exhibiting the organization’s tenets of friendship and service,” said Jeffries Leonard. “For me, you lead how you serve and they showed me what it meant to be a good Link, to focus on service, and to be a good friend to people just because it is the right thing to do.”
Jeffries Leonard has a wealth of professional experience in public health and has used her expertise in minority health and behavioral health to positively impact communities the organization serves. As the National Chair for Mental Health and Cardiovascular Issues, she secured grant funding for the Health Links Program, a robust program designed to address a broad array of issues concerning cardiovascular disease- the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.
“Cardiovascular disease has a lot of tentacles,” said Jeffries Leonard. “Things you may not even realize are associated with Cardiovascular disease are a part of care. From the quality of your dental care to things like sleep, people just don’t realize the impact of the disease. Our goal is to ensure that our members are aware and can put steps in place to prevent and offset cardiovascular disease.”
In addition to the organizational programs she oversees for The Links, Jeffries Leonard has served as deputy director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She was also chief operating officer of the District of Columbia's Department of Health. Currently she serves as president and CEO of Envision Consulting, LLC in Washington, DC and as chairperson of the District of Columbia's Commission on African American Affairs.
“Every Links president has a theme. My theme is ‘Transforming Communities. Fulfilling our Purpose.’ Looking at the legacy of Howard University, Black women, and The Links, Incorporated, our job is to leave this place better than we came. Right now, my hope is that through The Links, we really are able to fulfill our purpose and transform our communities even with all that is happening around us today.”
Original source can be found here.
Source: Howard University