On Aug. 11, Huston-Tillotson University named Melva K. Williams as its seventh president and CEO. Williams will officially begin her position Aug. 15.

Williams will serve as the second female president of Huston-Tillotson—a historically Black university as well as Austin’s oldest university—following the leadership of Cleveland native Colette Pierce Burnette, who retired June 30.

Williams previously served numerous executive and management roles in the Southern University System—a system of historically Black public universities in Louisiana.

Additionally, Williams served as a professor, lecturer and board member at various universities. She is also a co-founder of Higher Education Leadership Foundation, an organization that prepares principals to take on high leadership positions in historically Black colleges.

“I am honored and energized to serve as HT’s second female president,” Williams said in a press release. “The trust of the board of trustees and the HT Presidential Search Committee is very much appreciated, and I look forward to advancing an aggressive agenda that will ensure HT’s continued success.”

Williams received a doctorate in higher education from the University of Jackson in Mississippi, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in public administration and mass communication from Grambling State University.

The national search for Huston-Tillotson’s new leader was conducted by AGB Search Inc, which had a pool of nearly 50 qualified candidates.