Carole M. Watson

Carole M. Watson is Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has served the Endowment in a number of leadership roles, most recently as NEH Deputy Chairman. She previously served as Acting Chairman from January through July in 2009. Prior to becoming Deputy Chairman, Watson served as NEH Assistant Chairman for Partnership and National Affairs, overseeing the Endowment’s liaison with the National Council on the Humanities, the Federal/State Partnership, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), the National Trust for the Humanities and other agency collaborations with public and private sector organizations. In 2001, she was Interim Executive Director of the PCAH.

Before joining the NEH Chairman’s staff in 1995, Watson directed the Endowment’s Division of State Programs (now the Office of Federal/State Partnership) and the Office of Outreach.  Prior to her tenure at NEH, Watson directed Inter-cultural Programs at the Lindenwood Colleges in Saint Charles, Mo., and was founding English department chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Opportunity School in St. Louis, Mo. She is the recipient of Blewett and Ford foundation fellowships and in 1991 became a fellow of the Council for Excellence in Government. She received her M.A. degree in English and American literature from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., and her doctoral degree in American cultural history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Watson is the author of Prologue (Greenwood Press, 1985), a study of the novels written by African American women between 1859 and 1965.