Dr. Linda Silver Coley, a longtime entrepreneur, educator, and leader in supply chain management and product development, has been named executive director of The Ormond Center for Thriving Congregations and Communities, effective September 1.
“I give God thanks that Dr. Linda Coley accepted the invitation to lead the Ormond Center,” said Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric. “Her practical wisdom, entrepreneurial vision, and gospel passion for social justice will be gifts to our community.”
A recent graduate of Duke Divinity School and a native North Carolinian, Coley most recently served as a tenured faculty member and department chair in the Deese College of Business and Economics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and previously taught at Miami University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Cincinnati. For 20 years Coley ran a strategic marketing management company and is a globally recognized for her work that models leadership into supply chain relationships and partnerships to drive brand innovation. She holds an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, an M.S. in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Michigan, an M.B.A. from Xavier University, and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Cincinnati.
“It is a privilege to be named the next executive director of the Ormond Center at Duke Divinity School,” said Coley. “Growing up in Goldsboro, N.C., a small town where poverty and inequity still exist, I learned that a holistic approach, led by the power of the Holy Spirit, can create beloved, thriving communities. I look forward to helping the Ormond Center collaborate across church, society, government, and institutions to create sustainable equity and thriving communities for all peoples.”
While a student at Duke Divinity, Coley linked her leadership and brand innovation business models to her divinity work, focused on Christian social innovation, leadership formation, and shaping communities of justice. She served as a student representative on the Admissions, Financial Aid, and Field Education Working Group for the Dean’s Racial Justice and Cultural Competency Initiative and as a member of the Curriculum Committee. She also served on the University Judicial Board.
“Dr. Coley’s vocation and experience aligns beautifully with the mission of the Ormond Center to ‘foster the imagination, will, and ability of congregations and communities to be agents of thriving,” said Katherine Smith, associate dean for strategic initiatives and chair of the search committee. “She has a theologically rooted vision of flourishing grounded in Christ-like leadership that weaves together 30-plus years of experience in business, education, and nonprofits.”