Dr. Nicole Pride is an award winning, visionary impact strategist, leadership developer, and change pursuer. A fierce advocate, coach, trainer, and mentor for women, she has a passion for empowering them to reach their maximum potential and live a life of impact by equipping them with a winning mindset.
Prior to becoming the Program Performance Officer for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where she leads the Program Performance Office responsible for driving tangible, long-term progress across HBCUs to increase institutional health and sustainability, improve student outcomes, expand enrollment, bolster capacity with faculty and staff and improve socioeconomic outcomes for Black communities, Dr. Pride held various C-suite positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. She holds the honor of being the first woman to serve as president of West Virginia State University in the institution’s 130-year history. At North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, she served as principal liaison and senior adviser to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and external constituencies. Pride has also held C-Suite positions in University Advancement and the Office of the Chancellor, and has the distinction of holding three senior-level positions, with increasing responsibility, within eight years of service.
She has utilized her diverse skillset to engineer the strategy to overhaul the university’s brand perception among prospective and current students, parents, alumni, potential donors, research partners, and peer institutions; raise funds; enhance operational excellence; build diverse teams; increase student success; mitigate crises; and advance mission-driven organizational change. Pride served as the university’s chief of staff and chief communications officer, responsible for communications, marketing, branding, media and public relations and crisis communications. Her work defined the university’s brand in the state, nation and global marketplace, and her successes track with the institution’s arrival as the largest historically black university in the nation.
Pride also served as vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina A&T State University, and held a faculty appointment. Prior to joining N.C. A&T, Pride served as vice president for development and communications at Child Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, N.C. She also served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade. In addition to her professional appointments, Pride has served on numerous boards and committees, and her research interests are in the areas of board governance and leadership.
Drawing upon the professional brand building successes in her career from the private, non-profit and higher education sectors, Pride’s honors include the Triad Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business award and PR News’ Top Women in Public Relations — the prestigious award that recognizes women at the forefront of public relations across the U.S. who have made bold advances in developing brand messages, as well as protecting and building brand reputations among other things.
An Orange, New Jersey native, Pride lives and plays in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. She earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics from North Carolina State University, a master’s in corporate and public communications from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She is a mother to grown sons, Turner Jr., Todd, and Charles Jr., and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.