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Tony Allen

President, Delaware State University

Committed to making Delaware State University the most diverse, contemporary Historically Black College/ University (HBCU) in America, Tony Allen became the University’s 12th President in January 2020.   With a clear mission to increase educational access and opportunity for all, the the University is among the most consequential institutions in the nation, serving 5,000 students, in the United States and, via international partnerships, in 23 countries worldwide. 


The 1890 Land Grant institution is home to four academic colleges and a burgeoning graduate school, and is completing the acquisition of nearby Wesley College.  

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Tony manages a $140 M budget, a $23 M research portfolio, and a $40 MM endowment. Previously he served as the University’s Executive Vice President and Provost, where he oversaw 220 professors in 18 academic departments. 


Previously, Tony had developed and led the corporate reputation group at Bank of America, and was responsible for ongoing reputation analysis and related research. Tony also led communications for the bank’s largest divisions, including Consumer, Commercial Banking, and Wealth Management. He started his financial services career as an Executive Vice President at MBNA America.


Tony is also the Founding President of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Co-founder of Public Allies Delaware, and Chair Emeritus of the National Urban Fellows, widely viewed as the most prestigious fellowship for professionals in the public sector. He is also a member of the Community and Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Starting his career as  speechwriter to United States Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Tony was tapped by the President Elect as CEO of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, and to serve on the Education Board of Advisors to the Presidential Transition Team.

For his life’s work, Tony has been awarded many honors.  Most notable among them is the Whitney M. Young Award for Advancing Racial Equality, the National Urban League’s highest honor; the Excellence in Education Award given by the Delaware Barristers Association; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Urban Fellows and Public Allies.   


Tony holds a B.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Urban Affairs & Public Policy from the University of Delaware, as well as a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College (CUNY). He is the proud father of four fantastic children and life partner to his high school sweetheart and fiancé, Ms. Tara Anderson. 

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