Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr.
Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr. is the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University (Atlanta) and past Director of the Religion Department of the Chautauqua Institution. He also is president emeritus of Morehouse College where he served as the tenth president of the nation’s largest private, four-year liberal arts college for men from 2007 through 2012.
Dr. Franklin provides commentary for the National Public Radio (NPR) program, “All Things Considered,” and the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Television. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse in 1975 with a degree in political science and religion and continued his education at the University of Chicago, earning a doctorate in ethics and society, and religion and the social sciences in 1985.
Ordained two Christian denominations: the American Baptist Churches USA and the Church of God in Christ, Dr. Franklin earned the master of divinity degree Christian social ethics and pastoral care in 1978 at the Harvard Divinity School.
Dr. Franklin has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, where he gained a national reputation as director of Black Church Studies. He also has served as program officer in Human Rights and Social Justice at the Ford Foundation, and as an adviser to the foundation’s president on future funding for religion and public life initiatives.
Franklin is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (2007); Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (1990). He has co-authored (Don S. Browning, et. al.) a volume titled, From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (2001). He also penned the foreword to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, reprinted by Trinity Forum in 2012.
Active in a range of organizations, Franklin serves on the boards of the Salvation Army, the CNN Dialogues Advisory Committee, and NASA’s 100-year Starship Project Advisory Board directed by former astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Kappa Boule). He is a member of the Atlanta Falcons Advisory Board; Atlanta Rotary Club; 100 Black Men of Atlanta; the 1999 class of Leadership Atlanta; the Leadership and Sustainability Institute Working Group (of the Open Society Foundation); and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He has served on the boards of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE); the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Executive Committee); the White House HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board; the Atlanta Business League; and the Atlanta Mayoral Board of Service. Previously, he served on the boards of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Public Broadcasting of Atlanta, and Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting. In 2000, Mayor Bill Campbell appointed him co-chair of Atlanta 2000, the city’s official coordinating committee for Y2K activities and celebrations.