Michael Anthony Battle, Sr. arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 21, 2009 to be the next United States Ambassador to the African Union.
Since 2003 to his current appointment, Dr. Battle served as the President of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He was committed to academic excellence in training leaders, teachers, pastors, and preachers with an exceptional dedication to serving the church and society. He strived to produce world citizens and has implemented a program that emphasizes the important links between the U.S. churches and other non-profit organizations, corporations, foundations, and government entities.
Dr. Battle received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College, a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Howard University. Additionally, he completed the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the Millennial Leadership Institute, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute at Hampton University. After graduating he continued to be involved in the collegiate system holding the position of Vice President at Chicago State University from 1998-2003, Associate Vice President at Virginia State University from 1996-1998, and University Chaplain at Hampton University from 1976-1996. Additionally he served for 20 years as a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserve, and after key assignments from Battalion to Division Level, retired with many military honors and the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. His military education extends through Command and General Staff College (C&GSC).
Among many notable achievements, Dr. Battle has to his credit serving as Vice President of the American Committee on Africa from 1994-1998, participation as an election observer in 1994 for the first free election in South Africa, and liaison between the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and The South African Council of Churches. In addition to his ambassadorial position, Dr. Battle also served as chair of The Robert W. Woodruff Library of The Atlanta University Center, was a member of the UNCF Institutional Board of Directors, the Atlanta Rotary Club, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Congressional Forum Steering committee. He also chaired Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s Advisory Committee for Sustainable Atlanta and held positions on the Atlanta Regional Council of Churches, Atlanta Urban League, the Atlanta Fulton Family Connection; member of the 2008 Class of Leadership Atlanta, member of the CF Foundation Board of Advisors, and served on the Board of Commissioners for the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and has been elected to the 2012 Class of the Association for Theological Schools (ATS) Board of Directors. Dr. Battle holds lifetime membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Dr. Battle has authored books and publications on topics related to ecumenism and the Black church. Among them are: “Hampton and Black Ecumenism”; The African American Pulpit; “The Historical Significance of The Hampton University Ministers’ Conference”; “Because”: A Devotional Commentary on Psalms 40; The African American Devotional Bible; “Unity Assures Strength”; From One Brother To Another; “The Dynamic Tension In The Black Church”; Heritage: African American Readings for Writing; The History of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference: An Experience in Interdenominational Cooperation; The African American Church at Work ; “How Far Have We Come Since King”; The Journal of Black Sacred Music; “The Kerygmatic Ministry of Black Sermon and Song”; The Journal of Black Sacred Music; Voices of Experience; and “Liberation According to Martin Luther King and James Cone.” He was contributing author for “What Does It Mean to Be Black and Christian; Introduction to Wisdom of the Sage: Conversations with the A.C.D. Vaughn Senior Statesmen, 1996-2005 Hampton University Ministers’ Conference; and contributing writer for The Unique Issues for Racial/Ethnic Presidents in A Handbook for Seminary Presidents, editors G. Douglass Lewis & Lovett H. Weems Jr.