Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D. is the first female President and CEO of historic Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning and only black college and university. Chosen as a Top 25 Woman in the nation in higher education by DIVERSE (a leading higher education magazine), she also received the Community Hero award from the local Anti-Defamation League.
Dr. Burnette is fierce with her mission to elevate this generation of students, which she affectionately calls “the genius generation.” At Huston-Tillotson, she inspires more than 1,100 students and more than 100 faculty and staff members.
Before becoming a university president, Dr. Burnette was a computer analyst for The Washington Post and an operations support engineer for Proctor and Gamble, among other jobs. Ultimately, she ran her own computer consulting firm. It’s no surprise that her alma mater, Ohio State University, named her Outstanding Engineering Alumnus.
Other honors include induction into the Austin Women’s Hall of Fame, the United States Army Distinguished Civilian Volunteer Service Medal Award, the Thurgood Marshall Foundation Chief Information Officer of the Year Award, Dayton Business Journal Chief Fiscal Officer of the Year Award, and the National Diversity Council Glass Ceiling Award, to name only a few.
Locally, she served as the co-chair of Mayor Adler’s taskforce on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities, as a board member of Girl Scouts of Central Texas and in Leadership Austin.
She is married to Daarel (a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel) and is the mother of Daarel II of Washington, D.C. and Daana of New York, NY.:
Meals provided by Manny Sifuentes, manager at Cafe del Rio, a business staffed by the Texas Commission for the Blind.