Initiative Leadership









Johnathan Holifield
Executive Director
400 Maryland Avenue, SW,
Washington, DC 20202
Executive Director Biography

Arthur P. McMahan, Ph.D

Arthur P. McMahan, Ph.D.










Senior Associate Director
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 4C126
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: (202) 453-7750


06092014 - HBCU Staff Photos

Sedika Franklin, MBA

Associate Director
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 4C126
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: (202) 453-5630 office

03152016 - Tammi Fergusson Official Portrait 1

Tammi Fergusson, MS










Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 4C122
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: (202) 453-5626

Elyse Jones, MPA

Operations & Program Analyst
HBCU Student Engagement and Outreach
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 4C128
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: (202) 453-5627

Meet our Intern!

Thea R. Celestine










Intern, Doctoral Student (Ph.D.)
Morgan State University

Thea Celestine is a second year doctoral student in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University. Thea’s research interest are: African American female students and mental health, student retention, higher education policy, and the development of African American student leaders. Thea holds a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University. She is a License General Social Worker in Washington, DC. During her first year at Morgan State University Thea served as the student representative for Graduate Student Council , Faculty Coordinator for the Graduate Research, Interdisciplinary Network, and Development (G.R.I.N.D) Conference, and is a Graduate Assistant in the School of Education. Thea is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Alexandria Maloney







Intern, M.P.A. Fellow
Morgan State University
Cornell University
Telephone: 202-453-6788

Alexandria is currently a summer intern at the White House Initiative for HBCU’s (WHIHBCU) on the International Affairs Task Force. As a MPA fellow at the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, Alexandria studies Government Policy and Public Sector Management with international experience in Italy, China, and Cuba. In 2015, she graduated with a BA in International Affairs from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy and concluded her MA in International Studies from Morgan State University in 2017. Her internship experience includes the U.S. Department of State, United Nations Foundation, and Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA). On campus, she serves as the Treasurer of Women in Public Policy, Treasurer of the Black Graduate Professional Student Association, and Social Chair of the Cornell Public Affairs Society. In undergrad, she was Founder and President of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. Her areas of interest include educational and cultural affairs, international affairs, public policy, defense policy, learning languages, exploring new places, meeting new people, adventurous or social outings, reupholstery, collecting vinyl records, and helping her Father with his BBQ business throughout the Midwest in the summer. Upon her Cornell graduation in May 2019, Alexandria hopes to pursue a career in foreign affairs with a U.S. federal agency.

Miles Hodnett










Intern, Suitland High School
Telephone: 202-453-6569

Miles Hodnett is a rising senior at Suitland High School. Miles is part of the TV production program at his high school and hoped to go into a career in film. Miles started interning with the Initiative to work in an office space and learn about the Department of Education. Miles has a background in film editing and hopes to learn more about the marketing and communications outreach side of the Department.