Strayer University Names Dr. Antoinette ‘Toni’ Farmer-Thompson President

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Strayer University, a higher learning institution for working adults, has announced Dr. Antoinette ‘Toni’ Farmer-Thompson as its next president. 

Dr. Farmer-Thompson joined Stayer in 2021 as its provost and chief academic officer, managing academic and student support teams to ensure an outstanding educational experience for Strayer students. She assumed her role as president on April 30, 2024 and is the first Black woman to hold the position, following the transition of former Strayer University president Dr. Andréa Backman to chief transformation officer at Strategic Education, Inc.

“We are pleased to have appointed and welcome Dr. Farmer-Thompson as president of Strayer University. Her proven capabilities in delivering innovative solutions that create high-performance cultures coupled with her experience in bridging the gap between employers and education will help us continue to build the future of accessible, affordable education,” said Dr. Charlotte Beason, chair of the Strayer University Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Farmer-Thompson has an unrelenting passion for advancing the aspirations of our students and alumni and has dedicated herself to economic mobility of non-traditional students through education,” said Karl McDonnell, president and CEO of Strategic Education, Inc. “She is a bold and innovative leader with a proven track record in organizational transformation that has yielded accelerated results.”

Prior to joining Strayer, Dr. Farmer-Thompson worked in the higher education sector for over 13 years. Previously, she served as the chief financial officer and chief operations officer of educational outreach and student services at Arizona State University. Additionally, Dr. Farmer-Thompson served as the senior vice president of institutional effectiveness and founding honors college dean at Grand Canyon University. She is active in community organizations that share her passion for economic equity and gender equity and inclusion.

“I am honored to serve the wonderful students and faculty at Strayer University as its next president. I want to thank the Strayer University Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this important responsibility,” said Dr. Farmer-Thompson. “I look forward to continuing to develop innovative solutions in carrying out our institution’s mission to empower all students to succeed in their personal and professional lives.”

Dr. Farmer-Thompson received her Doctor of Health Education from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, her Master of Business Administration in Healthcare from Grand Canyon University, her Master of Arts in Education, Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Phoenix and her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. Dr. Farmer-Thompson also received a Certificate in Executive Women in Leadership from Cornell University and an Artificial Intelligence: Business Strategies and Applications Certificate from UC Berkeley. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority.

About Strayer University

Founded in 1892, Strayer University is an institution of higher learning for working adult students. It offers flexible and affordable undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration (including the Jack Welch Management Institute MBA), accounting, information technology, education, health services, public administration and criminal justice, as well as non-degree web and mobile application development courses through Hackbright Academy and Devmountain. Strayer University is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Strayer University’s accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. MSCHE most recently reaffirmed Strayer University’s accreditation status in June 2017, with the next self-study evaluation scheduled for the 2025–2026 academic year. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. For more information, visit