JANICE L. MATHIS

Janice L. Mathis, Esq. was appointed Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women in 2016.  NCNW was founded in 1935 by Dr, Mary McLeod Bethune and is an affiliation of thirty-two national women’s  organizations, two hundred campus and community-based sections, with total membership of more reaching  more than two million women and men. NCNW Affiliates include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Links,  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eastern Stars, Women’s Missionary Society of the AME Church and other  influential groups. NCNW is based at the historic Dorothy I. Height building at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue in  Washington, DC, notable for being the only black-owned building on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

The mission of NCNW is to lead, advocate for and empower women of African descent, their families and  communities. Janice is responsible for implementing that mission through a host of programs and activities  that she conceptualizes and leads. NCNW’s programs are grounded on a foundation known as Four for the  Future: STEAM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education; Health; Entrepreneurship  and Civic Engagement. Programs initiated during Janice’s tenure include Hungry for Education, Millennial  Entrepreneurs, Women’s Economic Empowerment and GirlTech. Janice also revived NCNW’s status as a Non governmental Organization (NGO) recognized by the United Nations. As Executive Director, Janice is  responsible for all programming, grassroots lobbying, communications, fund development and member  recruitment and retention.  

Prior to joining NCNW, Janice was General Counsel and Vice President of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow  PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund, where she spearheaded civil rights and diversity initiatives  with many Fortune 500 firms. She is a former member of both the Georgia Power Company Diversity  Advisory Council and the Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity Council. In 2015, Janice led a successful effort to  include diverse contractors in $3 billion dollars’ worth of state-funded transportation contracts in Georgia.  

For nearly two decades, Janice practiced real estate, bankruptcy, probate, personal injury and criminal law in  Athens, GA, in a firm she founded with several law school classmates. She was appointed Special Assistant  Attorney General for the state of Georgia, representing Child Support Enforcement and the Georgia  Department of Transportation. She served as a speech writer and issues director for Michael S. Dukakis’ 1988  presidential campaign. In recent years, Janice helped to found Power Rising, which is now in its third year.  She also founded the Metro Athens Growth Federation to spur economic development.  

Janice testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the crack/powder cocaine disparity and before the  United Nations Commission to End Racial Discrimination in Geneva. She organized and led a national effort to  reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2005 and was instrumental in urging Greenville County, SC to become  one of the final counties in the nation to recognize the Martin Luther King Holiday. 

Janice and her sister Davida Mathis host Sisters in Law on News and Talk 1380 WAOK, a weekly legal advice  program, and they blog at sistersinlaw.blogspot.com. She serves on Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s national  Social Action Commission, where she is responsible for tracking the sorority’s legislative agenda. Janice  formerly served as a member of the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee and on the  national board of the League of Women Voters of the U.S.  

She is the recipient of numerous awards and is included in several editions of the Most Influential Blacks in  Atlanta; in 2009 she was named one of 25 Most Influential Women in Atlanta by Rolling Out magazine and  received the Fannie Lou Hamer award from UFCW. In 2008, the Georgia Informer named her one of the 50  most influential women in Georgia. The Gate City Bar presented her its R.E. Thomas Civil Rights Award in  2009. In 1996 she was a Centennial Olympic Community Hero and carried the Olympic Torch a portion of its  route through Athens, GA. Good Housekeeping Magazine named her “One Hundred Young Women of  Promise” in 1989. She is a graduate of Leadership Georgia. 

Janice earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both economics and public policy studies at Duke University in only  three years and was a recipient of the prestigious Angier Biddle Duke Scholarship. Janice studied British 

Politics and History at Oxford University in England and earned a Juris Doctor from the Lumpkin School of  Law at the University of Georgia, Athens.