Dr. John Fleming

Dr. John Fleming, known throughout the country for his scholarship, mentorship and generosity, has a career spanning four decades of excellence.

As a historian, author, academician and museum expert, John Fleming’s professional experience includes museum directorships, management and planning on historic preservation issues, appointments by governors and President George W. Bush., and leadership roles in national and state museum associations.

His awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the African American Museums Association; Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History; Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Mid-West Museums; The Franklin H. Williams Award for Outstanding Community Service from the National Peace Corps; The Bjornson Distinguished Award for Service to the Public Humanities from the Ohio Humanities Council; and, Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from the Ohio Museums Association.

As the Executive Director of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio, Dr. Fleming led the way for increased inclusion of African American stories and culture into museum presentations and education. Dr. Fleming was also recently elected National Chair of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Council. His service on countless American Association of Museum committees and his efforts with the Smithsonian Institution’s planning process are well known. John was a key player in bringing the idea of a National African American Museum to the Mall in Washington, D.C., a museum scheduled to open in 2015.

Dr. Fleming also served as the Director and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio; Director of Museums for the Cincinnati Museum Complex (Cincinnati History, Museum, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, Cinergy Children’s Museum, Cincinnati Historical Society Library and The Edge of Appalachia Nature Preserve); and, the Afro-American Museum Project Director of the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio. His professional experience includes that of Senior Fellow for the Institute for the Study of Educational Policy, Howard University; Assistant Professor of History at Howard University; and currently, the Executive Producer of “America I am: African American Imprint on America” a national traveling exhibition which he planned and curated with the Tavis Smiley Group.

Dr. Fleming was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Presidential Commission of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action; by Ohio Governor George Voinovich as a member of the Executive Committee of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission then elected to serve as Vice Chair; by the Secretary of the Interior to serve on the National Underground Railroad Study Committee; and by Governor Richard Celeste to serve as an Ohio delegate to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. He also served as President of the Ohio Museums Association and on various AAM committees.

John served as the National President of the Study of African American Life and History and is currently serving as Director and Chief Advisor in the planning of the new International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Fleming obtained a Master of Arts Degree and a Ph D from Howard University with additional graduate school study at the University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi Africa; University of Kentucky and the Museum Management Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

A published author of four books and countless articles on higher education, African American history and life, slavery, and civil rights, John resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio when he is not in Charleston.

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