Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina and a vigorous advocate for public education, will deliver the commencement address at North Carolina Central University’s fall graduation. The university will award more than 600 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees at the ceremony, which will take place in McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Marshall oversees AT&T’s 7,000 North Carolina employees and is responsible for the company’s regulatory, legislative and community affairs activities in the state. She has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, having joined Pacific Bell in July 1981. She has held a variety of management positions in operations, human resources, network engineering and planning, and regulatory/external affairs. She was named to her current position in January 2007.
She is active in civic affairs at all levels. Nationally, she serves as chair of the Board of Governors of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Within North Carolina, Marshall is a member of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Chamber and is a past chair of the business group, the first African-American to hold the position.
Marshall is a passionate advocate for education as the key to unlocking future economic and personal opportunities for all students. She served as a co-chair of the North Carolina legislature’s Committee on Dropout Prevention and has been named a “Friend of Education” by the State Board of Education in recognition of her efforts on behalf of students and schools. She is co-chair of the “Pathways to Prosperity” initiative of the North Carolina New Schools Project and is a frequent speaker to state and national audiences about the importance of the community’s role in quality public education.
Since coming to North Carolina, Marshall has received many awards and honors, including the Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall Fund, and the Woman of Substance Award from Bennett College. In 2010, she received the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Award from the United Negro College Fund.
A California native, Marshall now lives in Cary. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned degrees in business administration and human resources management.