Dr. Jackson-Weaver speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.


Dr. Karen Jackson-Weaver is the Senior Associate Vice President of Global Faculty Engagement & Innovation Advancement at New York University (NYU). Dr. Jackson-Weaver earned her Bachelor's Degree at Princeton University (BA); a Master's degree (Ed.M.) at Harvard University; and a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in American History from Columbia University, where she was a Kluge Scholar Fellow, Merit Dissertation fellowship winner and nominee for the university-wide teaching award. She completed her Postdoctoral work at Princeton Theological Seminary where she was selected to be one of two Engle Scholars, a program designed to bring promising scholars to the Seminary for an experience in the pattern of the Rhodes scholarship program at Oxford University.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver has been an academic leader in global higher education for over two decades. Prior to her current post at NYU, she was a Visiting Scholar/Dean-in-Residence at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. Dr. Jackson-Weaver is an expert on educational policy and a former Academic Dean at Princeton University’s Graduate School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is a historian and a religious scholar with a focus on religion, ethics, and politics. She is the former National Series Editor for the Teaching Religious Studies Series produced by Oxford University Press and the American Academy of Religion. Recently, she was voted to be Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Princeton Theological Seminary and she is a former National Advisory Member of the Council of Graduate School’s Diversity Committee.

At the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Jackson-Weaver served as the Senior Associate Dean of Degree Programs & Student Affairs (Dean of Students). In this role, she was responsible for the overall management, strategy and operations of the staff in the degree programs and student affairs departments: including admissions, student financial services, the registrar's office, student services, career advancement, student diversity and inclusion, and the school's various master's, joint, concurrent and PhD programs. She also chaired the school-wide Academic Affairs and Diversity Committees and was a member of the Faculty Steering Committee. During her tenure, she was nominated and selected as Advisor of the Year for outstanding mentoring to Harvard Kennedy School master’s and doctoral students.

Prior to her appointment at Harvard, she was a faculty member in American Studies and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Diversity at Princeton University’s Graduate School. As a senior member of the Dean’s staff, she represented the Dean on university committees, task forces, and working groups. She was also an active member of the Honorary Degrees committee and the University-wide Diversity Council. She also worked closely with all 44 departments in the admissions, re-enrollment and final public orals processes as well as spearheaded professional development initiatives. In addition to her duties as an Academic Dean, she was an active member of the Council on International Teaching and Research and a Co-Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation/Council of Graduate Schools DIMAC Initiative. During her tenure at the Graduate School, she tripled recruitment and outreach efforts for women in the sciences and other historically underrepresented groups. Simultaneously, she spearheaded successful retention initiatives including the Academic Success Series seminar and an Interdisciplinary Dissertation writing group, which resulted in significantly increased completion and graduation rates for Master’s and Doctoral degree students. For her efforts, Dr. Jackson-Weaver won the Donald Griffin '23 Award, an honor reserved for two members of the entire university in recognition of exemplary leadership. In addition, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King Journey Award from Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman for special achievement.

Prior to her post at Princeton, Dr. Jackson-Weaver served under three gubernatorial administrations as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission where she reported to the New Jersey Secretary of State and Commissioner of Education with a dotted line to the Governor. She was also the Founding Director of the Amistad Summer Institute at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University. Under her administration, the Commission was featured in CNN News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Forbes and CBS News for its innovative approach to integrating African-American history into the social studies curriculum in New Jersey’s public schools. In this role, Dr. Jackson-Weaver facilitated and led workshops as well as institutes throughout the country. In addition, she served as a consultant and advisor to the Amistad Digital Resource Project and edited two volumes of primary source documents which culminated into the publications, Reconstruction Reconsidered: The African-American Presence in American History and the Amistad Curricular Guide to American History.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver is a licensed minister in the American Baptist Churches of America which is an affiliate of the Baptist World Alliance. Her career in ministry has spanned over two decades and most recently she served as the Associate Regional Director of New Church Development in the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey (ABCNJ). In this role, Dr. Jackson-Weaver also oversaw a state-wide learning community of pastoral leaders with a focus on pastoral well-being, spiritual health, vitality and innovation in ministry. In addition, she is the former Convener and Facilitator of the monthly Spiritual Formation and Faith Development seminar for Clergy Leaders. Throughout her career, Dr. Jackson-Weaver has conducted workshops and seminars for pastoral leaders on a national level for a myriad of social justice and religious organizations. She is a co-founder of the Hallelujah! Worship service at Princeton University and the former convener of Princeton University’s Religious Life Council. She is also the former Co-Chair of the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Group in the American Academy of Religion and the Founding Convener of Freedom Summer 2020: Making Black Lives Matter- Race, Religion, and Voting Rights in America. Dr. Jackson-Weaver is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Princeton Theological Seminary where she is a member of the Academic Affairs Committee and a Trustee Liaison to the Women in Ministry Initiative.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver has received a number of fellowships and awards for her research, teaching, and mentoring. She has been a Fellow at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. In addition, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the King Center Library and Archives in Atlanta, GA. She is a former editor of the journal, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and a former editorial board member of the Columbia Historical Review.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver currently serves as the Senior Associate Vice President of Global Faculty Engagement and Innovation Advancement at New York University (NYU). In this inaugural role, she provides a refined, centralized presence across NYU’s global network in promotion of inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access with faculty search processes, curricular innovation, and faculty advancement and professional development. Dr. Jackson-Weaver has led, redesigned, and oversaw the NYU-wide faculty mentoring program across NYU schools and cultivated key external relationships with major government, educational, and corporate entities to promote greater research collaboration and partnerships with NYU faculty.

She has also served as the Executive Producer and Creative Executive on a number of major university-wide initiatives, including oversight of all media, photography, and digital archiving in order to curate the work of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development Executive Leadership Summit hosted at NYU Florence, Italy under the leadership of Dr. Noel Anderson and Dr. Lisette Nieves. Dr. Jackson-Weaver continues to work with faculty across NYU's global network which includes degree granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, as well as research centers in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America on creating and launching new initiatives in the areas of: faculty advancement; research and innovation; mentoring and professional development; and faculty success.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver has been a leader in higher education for over twenty five years and has devoted her career to academic excellence and institutionalizing equity, access, and wellness for all students, faculty, and staff. Her students lovingly refer to her as "Dean Weaver -The Dream Weaver" because she works with them to "start with a dream- and end with a plan." As a global leader in higher education, she has successfully shepharded countless students through top ranked master's and doctoral programs, and served as a mentor and advisor to numerous faculty and university administrators.