Sharon L. Davies, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sharon Davies is the president and CEO of the Kettering Foundation.

Davies’ career experiences span both academic and non-academic fields. From 2017-2021, Davies was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Spelman College. She joined Spelman from The Ohio State University, where she was vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. Davies was also a member of OSU’s Moritz College of Law faculty for 22 years, serving as the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In addition, Davies directed the university’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity, an interdisciplinary engaged research institute known nationally for its work in social justice, equity, and inclusion. She also held an appointment to the Ohio Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Davies was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Notes and Comments Editor of the Columbia Law Review while in law school at Columbia University. After graduation, she worked for Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, DC and Lord, Day & Lord Barrett Smith in New York City. She served for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

Davies was the recipient of a YWCA Woman of Achievement award from the YWCA Columbus chapter (2015); the Robert M. Duncan Award by the Columbus Chapter of the American Constitution Society (April 2014) in recognition of her contributions to democracy, fostering legal education, ensuring access to justice, and preserving individual rights and the rule of law; and the Liberty Bell Award from the Columbus Bar Association (June 2013).

Davies’ articles and other writings have been published in some of the nation’s leading law journals, including the Duke Law Journal, the Southern California Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and Law and Contemporary Problems. In 2010, Oxford University Press published Davies’s narrative nonfiction account of a 1921 murder trial in Birmingham, Alabama, titled Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America, for which the Mayor of Birmingham presented her with a “Key to the City.”

Davies has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Sharon Davies talks about her leadership vision for the Kettering Foundation in this audio interview conducted in June 2022.