L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


Watch the 2023 Wilder Symposium

From left to right: Dr. Bob Holsworth, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, the Honorable L. Douglas Wilder, Dr. Susan Gooden, Dr. Nakeina E. Douglas-Glenn, the Honorable Roger L. Gregory and the Honorable Jason Miyares.

2023 Wilder Symposium: HBCUs and the Absence of Support

Join 66th Governor of Virginia L. Douglas Wilder for a panel discussion with Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard University, Dr. Nakeina E. Douglas-Glenn, director of the Wilder School Research Institute for Social Equity, the Honorable Roger L. Gregory, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable Jason Miyares, Attorney General of the Commonwealth. The event was moderated by Dr. Bob Holsworth, political analyst and managing partner of the consulting firm DecideSmart.


Clockwise from top left: Symposium panelists L. Douglas Wilder, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, Dr. Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Dr. Bob Holsworth (moderator), Jason Miyares and the Honorable Roger L. Gregory.

About the Panelists and Moderator

THE HONORABLE L. DOUGLAS WILDER is the 66th Governor of Virginia and a distinguished professor at the school that bears his name. A native of Richmond’s historic Church Hill district, Wilder is the nation’s first elected African American governor and served as the commonwealth’s chief executive officer from 1990 to 1994.

Gov. Wilder graduated from Virginia Union University and served in the United States Army during the Korean War, where he earned a Bronze Star for heroism in ground combat. He then attended Howard University School of Law, and afterwards established a legal practice in Richmond. He won election to the Virginia Senate in 1969 as a member of the Democratic Party and served five terms before taking office as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, becoming the first African American to hold statewide office in the commonwealth.

He returned to elected office in 2005, becoming the first directly-elected mayor of Richmond. Since 2009 he has worked as a distinguished professor at the Wilder School where he lectures and hosts symposia, including the most recent, “Racism, Health & Accountability.” He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NAACP’s prestigious Spingarn Medal and the author of “Son of Virginia: A Life in America’s Political Arena.

DR. WAYNE A.I. FREDERICK is the 17th president of Howard University and the distinguished Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery at the Howard University College of Medicine. He is also a practicing cancer surgeon at Howard University Hospital, where he continues to see patients and perform surgeries. 


Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Frederick came to the United States for the first time in 1988, when he matriculated to Howard at the age of 16 to pursue a dual B.S./M.D. program. By the age of 22, he had received his Bachelor of Science degree and graduated from medical school. He also returned to Howard as a student to receive his MBA in 2011.

As president of Howard, Dr. Frederick has worked to strengthen internal operations in order to enhance the student experience and position the University to more effectively serve the community. He has overseen a period of immense growth and transformation at Howard, including record-breaking enrollment numbers and philanthropic donations.

DR. NAKEINA E. DOUGLAS-GLENN, director and associate professor, provides leadership for the Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE) and its programs. She is a higher education academic and practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in organizational development, leadership development, public policy analysis, and racial equity. 

Douglas-Glenn earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in public administration and public affairs with a certificate in race and social policy from the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. She has a Master of Social Work from Radford University and received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Virginia Tech. 

She is an elected member of the American Council on Education's Virginia Network executive board and serves as the institutional representative for the Women's Network at VCU. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Health Brigade (formerly the Fan Free Clinic).

THE HONORABLE ROGER L. GREGORY, is the first African-American to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. By appointment of the Chief Justice of the United States, Judge Gregory served on the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission established by the President and Congress to commemorate that landmark decision. 

Judge Gregory’s past leadership positions include Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority of Richmond, President of the Friends Association for Children, President of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Rector of Virginia Commonwealth University, andPresident of the Old Dominion Bar Association. JudgeGregory presently serves as Trustee Emeritus for the University of Richmond.

Judge Gregory is an inductee in the Virginia Interscholastic Heritage Association’s Hall of Fame, a Fellow of the Virginia State Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute. He holds honorary degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Widener University, Saint Paul’s College, The American University, and Albright College. He graduated from Virginia State College and the University of Michigan Law School. 

THE HONORABLE JASON MIYARES (pronounced “me-YAR-ez”) is the 48th Attorney General of Virginia, the first Hispanic American elected to statewide office in Virginia and the first child of an immigrant to serve as Attorney General. 

Before becoming Attorney General, Miyares served in the Virginia House of Delegates for three terms, and he worked in his hometown of Virginia Beach as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. As Attorney General, Miyares is focused on improving public safety, combatting the deadly impact of opioids and fentanyl, fighting corporate misconduct, and protecting the civil rights of every Virginian. 

He recently issued a legal opinion providing guidance about state government funding options for Virginia's HBCUs, declaring that the state has nearly unfettered authority to provide financial assistance to the two public HBCUs (Norfolk State University and and Virginia State University) through the legislature's appropriations process, just as any other public college or university in Virginia. 

Miyares is a proud graduate of James Madison University and the William and Mary School of Law, and he still lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, their three daughters, and a golden retriever.

DR. BOB HOLSWORTH  is one of the leading political analysts in Virginia. He is the regular political analyst for WTVR CBS6 in Richmond, and his commentary on Virginia and national politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and newspapers throughout the nation. He has appeared on most major American TV networks as well as the BBC and Fuji Television. He was named one of the 100 Influentials in Virginia Politics by Campaigns and Elections magazine.

Holsworth is the founding director of the Center for Public Policy and dean of the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He received VCU’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award. He is a managing principal in DecideSmart, a firm that provides analysis and planning assistance to agencies, local governments, nonprofits and private sector companies with governmental interests.

Watch the 2022 Wilder Symposium

2022 Wilder Symposium: Racism, Health and Accountability

The year was 1968. At the Medical College of Virginia, (today a part of Virginia Commonwealth University) Bruce Tucker, a Black man, had his heart transplanted — without his family’s consent — into a white businessman. Tucker’s family sought legal justice and the attorney who represented them was L. Douglas Wilder, who went on to become the first elected African-American governor in the United States. The case exemplified a journey to fight racism and demand accountability for a gross violation of human rights.

The 2022 Wilder Symposium, “Racism, Health, and Accountability” was held in person, Monday, Sept. 19 at the VCU Singleton Center for Performing Arts.

As the signature speaker, Governor L. Douglas Wilder discussed the complex ethical issues exposed during the case and examined its lasting historic impact today. Wilder traced the role of institutionalized racism to the ongoing battle for healthcare equity and access. He also fielded questions from moderator Wilder School Dean Susan Gooden and audience members. 

Hosted by the Wilder School and University College, this symposium is part of a larger series based on the 2022-2023 VCU Common Book, "The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South" by Chip Jones. The book follows a long legacy of inhumane treatment of African Americans for unethical medical advancement in the segregated south. The award-winning book will be read by first-year VCU students and will be a focus area for events across campus this fall.

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2021 Wilder Symposium

>>View the 2021 Wilder School Symposium recording, The Triple Pandemic: Implications for Racial Equity and Public Policy