From SGA to BOT chair

Photo of Harper courtesy:

Kristin Harper stands as one of the heads of Florida A&M University, leading the Board of Trustees as its chair. As an alumna of FAMU her goal is to continue to achieve what FAMU needs and work with the other 12 board members to complete common goals for the university.

Harper was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, prior to attending FAMU. Her journey to leadership started as soon as she stepped foot on campus. During her freshman year, she served as a senator, and she was elected Senate Pro-tem her sophomore year.

Her junior year she served as vice president of the Student Government Association and in her senior year she became SGA president. She made history by becoming the third female SGA president in the university’s history.

“It was tremendous to be able to advocate for students and serve the university that I love so much and still love to this day,” Harper said about her time in SGA.

Harper graduated from FAMU in 2001 receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously in business administration under the leadership of Sybil Mobley. She began her career with Proctor & Gamble where she managed global brands like Crest, Oral-B and other personal healthcare brands. She went on to work for The Hershey Company where she managed Hershey Kisses and then became vice president of marketing at Cardinal Health.

Harper is also an entrepreneur; she is the founder and CEO of Driven to Succeed, LLC, a market research and consulting firm.

“I focused on building mastery from a corporate perspective and now a business owner for the past almost five years,” Harper said.

Although she spent some time away in the corporate world, Harper never really left FAMU. Shortly after graduating, she became a member of the National Alumni Association and then became a life member.

“In every stage of life,” Harper said, “there are different ways you can contribute.”

Harper is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She compared being a Delta and how it is a lifelong commitment and that members can contribute in different ways at different stages to FAMU through things like the NAA and the FAMU Boosters because, at different stages and times, there are different things that the university needs.

In October 2023, Harper was unanimously elected chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees making her the second woman to have been chosen for that position since it formed in 2001. “When asked to be appointed to be a trustee I was tremendously humbled and tremendously proud because my only focus is to do what’s in the best interest of FAMU so FAMU can continue to operate in perpetuity, so the next generation and multiple generations of students can get this world-class education,” Harper told The Famuan.

FAMU President Larry Robinson says he is duly impressed.

“I think her story is pretty amazing,” Robinson said about Harper. “Her story connects with so many FAMU students who can see her as a role model because she has moved through the corporate world, and entrepreneurship and now has one of the biggest jobs on campus serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees.”

Harper believes her serving on the board has been her way of contributing on a different level to the university.