Dr. Lawrence M. Drake II Named Interim President of Albany State University

Staff Report

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue today named Dr. Lawrence M. Drake II interim president of Albany State University, effective July 1, 2024.

Drake replaces President Marion Ross Fedrick, who announced in February she had accepted the role of executive vice president and chief of staff to the president at Georgia State University. Currently, Drake is the president and CEO of the educational outreach organization, LEADing for Life Enterprise. He previously served as interim president of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

“Dr. Drake has over 40 years of leadership experience, and his most recent work with both Bethune-Cookman and LEADing for Life demonstrates his strong commitment to student success in higher education,” Perdue said. “We are grateful for his commitment to build on Marion’s legacy in the interim as we undertake a national search for Albany State’s next president.”

Known for his effective strategic leadership, Drake brings an enthusiasm for recruitment and development to his role at Albany State. At Bethune-Cookman, he also served as dean of the university’s College of Business & Entrepreneurship. In addition to his work at LEADing for Life, Drake serves as the chairman and CEO of HOPE360 Inc., an executive consulting firm. Prior to consulting, Drake worked at the Coca-Cola Company for 21 years, where he served in several key roles and eventually became the Division President of Coca-Cola Africa. In this position, he was responsible for the company’s operating effectiveness and financial performance throughout the western portion of the continent.

“With my passion for expanding access to learning opportunities and helping individuals acquire 21st-century skills, I am honored to have this opportunity to work with Albany State’s faculty, staff and students in a time of positive transition,” Drake said. “There’s so much momentum thanks to the work of President Fedrick, and I’m looking forward to doing my part for the legacy of the largest public HBCU in Georgia.”

A first-generation college graduate, Drake holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Georgia State University and one in elective studies from Fisk University. He has earned an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University, and an M.S. and a Ph.D., both in psychology, from Fielding Graduate University. 

He has served on the board of several organizations, including Trulieve and the Executive Leadership Council. Drake has also published a book, entitled Color Him Father, about Black fatherhood and given a TEDx talk on living “A Meaningful Life.”