Dr. Bettye Ward Fletcher is a retired career academician, researcher and administrator. She retired in May 2005. During her thirty years in higher education, she ascended the academic ladder from instructor to Interim President of Jackson State University. She gave institutional leadership to the development of the Jackson Heart Study, which is the largest study of African American cardiovascular disease in the nation.
Dr. Fletcher is the founder of Professional Associates, Inc. an organizational development consulting firm specializing in proposal writing, outcomes evaluation, strategic planning and organizational infrastructure development. Her firm has an international clientele including corporations, institutions of higher learning, philanthropic foundations, state agencies, school systems, colleges and universities, and community and faith-based organizations.
Dr. Fletcher has experienced all aspects of grantsmanship. She has successfully written, awarded and reviewed grants in the public and philanthropic areas. Over the course of her career, she has generated over $50 million in funded support. As a state agency head, she designed a peer-review system for awarding over $54 million in grants. Thirdly, Dr. Fletcher has served as a grant reviewer for several federal agencies. In 2001, Dr. Fletcher gave leadership to the establishment of a faith-inspired nonprofit organization in her native rural community, which received approximately $400,000 over the life of the award. The mission of this organization is to improve the quality of life among rural residents through family and youth development.
Dr. Fletcher is a prolific writer, inspirational speaker and community activist. She serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations. At this juncture in her life, Dr. Fletcher’s focus is on being significant rather than successful. To this end, her spirituality is the central focus of her life. She is dedicated to living a purposeful life through the practice of servant leadership. She is also an avid gardener. She is the mother of Imari and Aisha and has three grandsons.