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Woman to Watch: Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D.

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President & CEO of Huston-Tillotson University

Photo by Kylie Birchfield.

Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette is the president and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University—Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning and only Historically Black College and University (HBCU). She is a mother; wife; engineer and lover of music, dogs, books and champagne. She staunchly believes education is the great equalizer and not an option. Since President Pierce Burnette arrived in Austin in 2015, she has been a woman on a singularly focused mission. Ensuring any and all barriers to her students’ success are elucidated, deconstructed and obliterated. Her unwavering commitment to this mission has resulted in Huston-Tillotson University forging strong partnerships with companies such as Apple, Tesla, Bank of America and University Federal Credit Union. She proudly serves on the boards of Austin Community Foundation, Leadership Austin, Austin Transit Partnership, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Area Urban League.


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