Lorrie Frasure, professor of political science and African American studies, was named the new director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies after a national search, effective July 1, 2023. She also is the inaugural Ralph J. Bunche Endowed Chair.

“Since 1969, the Bunche Center (founded as the Center for Afro-American Studies) has served as a national and global leader in the study and uplift of Black life,” Frasure said. “Through longstanding and new collaborations, we will continue pioneering research as well as academic and community-based programs/initiatives, with broad impact for our communities both in the United States and internationally.”

Frasure, who joined the faculty in 2007, is a renowned scholar in race, ethnicity and politics. She has been recognized with several honors including the distinguished teaching award at UCLA. In 2015, she became the first woman of color and first Black female to earn tenure and promotion to full professor in the political science department.

The author of “Racial and Ethnic Politics in American Suburbs,” Frasure has led projects including the Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey and the CMPS Scholars Research Network. The survey is the first multiracial/ethnic, multilingual post-election study of political preferences and behavior among adults in a presidential election.

Frasure co-established the Mark Q. Sawyer Summer Institute in Race, Ethnicity and Politics, which aims to increase the number of undergraduate scholars from historically Black colleges and universities who enroll in and complete advanced degree programs in the UC system. She is one of the leads for UCLA’s recently launched Ethnic Studies Summer Specialization Program, which helps prepare middle- and high-school instructors to teach ethnic studies.

“Professor Frasure brings to the Bunche Center a proven record of not only major scholarly accomplishments but a dedication and commitment to policy- and community-based research that will bolster UCLA’s public mission,” said David Yoo, vice provost of the Institute of American Cultures at UCLA.