June , 2018

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BALTIMORE, MD – The NAACP announced the hires of Virgil E. Ecton as Executive Vice President, Development, Peter M. Williams as Executive Vice President, Programs and Claudia A. Withers as Chief Operating Officer. These veteran civil rights leaders will join the executive leadership team and continue the NAACP fight to ensure voting rights, economic equality, health equity, and a fair criminal justice system is a reality for all Americans.

Mr. Williams is a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors and academia. He most recently served as the principal for PW Consulting Group, a policy research and management consulting firm that focuses on enhancing the capacity of nonprofit organizations by providing services that include interim executive director management, policy analysis and strategic planning. He has also served as President and CEO of the Mid-Bronx Desperadoes (MBD) Community Housing Corporation (Bronx, NY);  and Vice President, School of Continuing Education and Community Programs for Medgar Evers College, City University of New York. Formerly a legislative assistant for Congressman Edolphus Towns, Mr. Williams managed a legislative portfolio covering issues such as, housing, civil rights and criminal justice. He has developed and taught courses in government and policy at Pratt Institute Graduate School of City and Regional Planning and Medgar Evers College. Mr. Williams has served as the First Vice President of the NAACP Brooklyn, NY Branch, and has been a member of a number of corporate and community boards and commissions.

Mr. Ecton is a goal driven professional who is uniquely positioned to offer comprehensive leadership within the development field. His distinguished background in working with Fortune 100 corporations, colleges, universities and major foundations such as the United Negro College Fund has enabled him to provide highly skilled strategic planning, budgeting, training, and performance development. Mr. Ecton has directed several successful capital campaigns and has provided exemplary management on all fronts. At Tuskegee University, he enlisted corporate executives to serve on the Tuskegee capital campaign National Corporate Advisory Board. At UNCF, Mr. Ecton directed the implementation of the scholarship provider’s first organizational incentive program and introduced employee performance standards with emphasis in quality, quantity, time and cost.

Claudia Withers brings a depth of insight to the NAACP through non-profit management, research, teaching and hands-on experience. Formerly, the Chief Operating Officer of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ms. Withers oversaw the day to day management of the agency as well as the development of the EEOC’s strategic plan for FY 2012-2016, and as the agency’s Performance Improvement Officer is overseeing its implementation. Prior to joining the EEOC, Claudia Withers was Director of Programs for the District of Columbia Bar Foundation, where she developed and directed grants and loan repayment programs to support civil legal services to the poor and underserved in the District of Columbia.  Ms. Withers also served in the Clinton Administration as a Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education.

Long time staff leaders, Shavon Arline Bradley and Kia Pearson will assume leadership roles as Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Partnerships and Vice President of Executive Operations, respectively. Ms. Arline-Bradley will oversee strategic partnerships and facilitate the Association’s strategic plan.  Ms. Pearson’s role as Vice President of Executive Operations will be expanded to oversee a fellowship program for the NAACP.

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