Nsenga Burton, Award-Winning Journalist and Entrepreneur, named New Regional Director of Clark Atlanta University’s National Center for Entrepreneurship


Paula Owens, Communications Manager
404-880-8521 powens@cau.edu

Clark Atlanta University has announced the appointment of Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., as Southern Regional Director of the National Center for Entrepreneurship at CAU. As part of a partnership with The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship, the center will support expanded opportunities for Black entrepreneurship through ownership, innovation, and creativity. In this role, Dr. Burton will lead initiatives to establish or strengthen centers for entrepreneurship on historically Black college and university (HBCU) campuses in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and the Virgin Islands.  Prior to joining CAU, Dr. Burton served as co-director of Film and Media Management at Emory University

Dr. Burton brings over 22 years of experience to this role. In addition to her work as an academician, she is the former executive director of the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs, a trade organization committed to leveling the playing field for people of color in the tech ecosystem. A serial entrepreneur, she is the founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire, covering news of the African Diaspora. Additionally, she served as chair of Communication Arts at Johnson C. Smith University, chair of Communication and Media Studies at Goucher College, and interim chair of Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University.

Burton has contributed to CNN, Huffington Post Black Voices, The Grio, and The New York Times. She also serves as a culture and entertainment editor for Black Press USA’s Newswire, which is powered by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, where she hosts a live-stream series on issues impacting HBCUs. Dr. Burton is also the former editor-at-large for The Root, an online African-American news publication. Dr. Burton’s entire career has been dedicated to addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in media industries.

“Dr. Burton brings a wealth of immense experience to this role through her successes as an innovator, entrepreneur, professor, and writer,” said Silvanus J. Udoka, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Clark Atlanta University. “Her conversance in enterprise and entrepreneurship, along with her depth of knowledge in Black Studies, will permanently and positively impact our scholars seeking to become entrepreneurs, business owners, and industry pioneers.”

The PNC Foundation is providing a five-year, $16.8 million grant to Howard University to create the national center for entrepreneurship education and research with the goal to serve the nation's network of more than 100 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their communities. This grant is part of PNC's $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, launched in 2022, which pledges to provide $88 billion in loans, investments, and other financial support to bolster economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals, communities and people of color over a four-year period.

“We are honored to have Dr. Burton accept the role of Regional Director for the South Region of our National Center,” said Erin Horne McKinney, National Executive Director of the Howard University & PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship. “She brings a deep level of commitment to Black entrepreneurship and advocacy and extensive personal experience as an award-winning business leader to the role. We are excited to have her join our team as a partner and thought leader and to collaborate with her as she continues to build out the entrepreneurial ecosystem amongst the HBCUs and business community in her region.”

Dr. Burton is the recipient of the 2023 National Coalition of 100 Black Women Unsung Heroine Award, the 2013 winner of the Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and a 2014 Scripps-Howard Journalism Fellow at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She will receive a 2023 Pearlie Award for outstanding community service in June.


About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank

Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy.

About the Howard University & PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship

The National Center represents all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and serves as a leader to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship instruction, provide real-world learning opportunities for students, and provide opportunities for faculty to engage in interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship research. The National Center will also be a significant national resource of best practices for Black entrepreneurs in innovation, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and business growth by providing an entrepreneurial network across all HBCUs and Black business development centers. The National Center is located on Howard University’s campus and includes four regional Centers of Excellence: 1) Howard University, 2) Morgan State University, 3) Clark Atlanta University, and 4) Texas Southern University.