Dr. Don I. Tharpe, Vetted Solutions Client Partner, is Elected as the First African American Board of Regents Chairperson in Murray State University History

(July 5, 2022) – Washington, DC – Dr. Don I. Tharpe, Vetted Solutions Client Partner, has unanimously been elected as Murray State University Board of Regents Chairperson, becoming the first African American to hold the role in the university’s 100-year history. Dr. Tharpe, a career association professional and advocate of education, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Murray State, as well as the university’s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award and the 2018 African American Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. He officially assumes his role as chairperson on July 1, 2022.

“There is no better way for the university’s board to exhibit their commitment to diversity and inclusion than to elect a Black man to this very important and influential position. The significance of my appointment ripples out to the association community that I will continue to serve with enthusiasm, being a voice for the value of education and the importance of service and personal growth,” Tharpe said.

Tharpe’s association management experience spans more than 30 years. In addition to his time at Vetted Solutions, he has served as Chief Operations Officer of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, President & CEO of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation, President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council on Foundations, and Executive Director of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). He is an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) and a former vice-chair of ASAE’s board of directors.

In addition to his extensive leadership and management background, Dr. Tharpe has written numerous articles on association management and served on the board of several nonprofit organizations.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Don has chosen to share his expertise with the association community and am thankful of his dedication to the professions and industries that strengthen society in every way,” said James Zaniello, President and Founder of Vetted Solutions.

Among his other accomplishments, Tharpe serves as a board member for The United Way of the Bluegrass in Kentucky and is a member of its finance committee. He has served as a member of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Murray State University in 2005, the highest honor an alumnus or alumna can earn from the Murray State University Alumni Association in recognizing those who have excelled both professionally and personally. He was also the recipient of the African American Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

“As chair of the Murray State University Board of Regents, Dr. Don Tharpe will continue his excellent leadership as a dedicated collaborator and forward-thinking advocate for the best interests of Murray State University,” Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson said. “Dr. Tharpe has been a tremendous asset to our Board of Regents since his appointment in 2017. Both personally and professionally, I am extremely grateful for our relationship. As a native Kentuckian and Murray State alumnus, he cares deeply about the continued upward trajectory of our institution as we all work together to advance Murray State University.”

About Vetted Solutions
Vetted Solutions is a leading firm that helps associations and nonprofits recruit, retain, and cultivate key talent. We partner with organizations to fulfill executive searches and interim solutions. Our team members have led world-class associations and apply these experiences to help our clients assemble, guide, and manage highly effective staff teams and operations. Our consulting experience spans Mergers and Acquisitions, Organizational Assessments, Authentic Onboarding®, Succession Planning, Board and Governance Advisory, and Organization Design and Staff Development.

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