Profile: Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander is an American poet, essayist, playwright, and the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2018.

Early life

Alexander was born in Harlem, New York City, and grew up in Washington, D.C. She is the daughter of former United States Secretary of the Army and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairman Clifford Alexander, Jr. and Adele Logan Alexander, a professor of African-American women’s history at George Washington University and writer. Her brother Mark C. Alexander was a senior adviser to the Barack Obama presidential campaign and a member of the president-elect’s transition team.

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