Robert M. Franklin, Jr. is the inaugural James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he also serves as senior advisor to the University president. Appointed to the role in 2014, he leads students through explorations of moral leadership in the 21st century in different cultures and contexts in the United States and around the world. A respected leader in higher education and a nationally recognized scholar-theologian in social ethics, psychology, and African American religion, he is the former director of the interfaith religion department of the Chautauqua Institution and president emeritus of Morehouse College, having led the institution from 2007 to 2012. Earlier, he was the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Ethics at Emory and had served as president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He has also served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School.
Active in a range of organizations, Rev. Dr. Franklin serves on numerous advisory boards and has held influential roles at the Ford Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Atlanta Mayor’s Task Force to Promote Public Trust. He is the author of four books, including his recently published Moral Leadership: Integrity, Courage, Imagination (2020), and has provided regular commentary for NPR and Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Television. An ordained minister in two Christian denominations, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse, a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.