Irma Clark-Coleman (Dist. 5)
Representing: Detroit (part)
Commissioner Clark-Coleman was first elected to the Commission in 2009 after serving for eight years in the Michigan State Senate, 3rd District. Prior to her service in the Senate, she served for two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives for District 11.
While in the State House, she sponsored legislation seeking to improve overall educational standards and opportunities for students. In the Senate, she sponsored legislation to strengthen high school graduation standards. She passed legislation to ease requirements for family members to adopt or become foster parents to children of whom they have custody. In addition, she was a member of the prestigious Senate Appropriations Committee.
Clark-Coleman moved to Detroit from her small rural birthplace in Georgia. She attended Pershing High School and was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning both bachelor and masters degrees from Wayne State University.
In 1967, Clark-Coleman began working for the Wayne County Road Commission in an entry level position. She quickly rose through the ranks to Assistant Public Information Director. She later served as Media Relations Director for County Executive Bill Lucas and Press Secretary to County Executive Ed McNamera. Clark-Coleman retired as Human Relations Director in 1998 and moved to the Michigan Legislature. For the last seven of her 31 years with the county, she simultaneously served on the Detroit School Board, her last 3 years as president.
In 2004, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Commissioner Clark-Coleman to the National Education Commission of the States, as well as the Cherry Commission on Higher Education. She is also a former member of the National School Board Association Board of Directors, Michigan Association of School Boards of Directors and National Alliance of Black School Educators.
A snapshot of Commissioner Clark-Coleman's civic and political affiliations include: life member NAACP; Living Waters Church Board member; Trade Union Leadership Council; 13th Congressional District Executive Board; Co-Chair of both the United Way, and Detroit Good Fellows Drive. She is a member of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Comm. Clark-Coleman has been recognized for her influence in the business community by receiving such honors as: the Michigan Girl Scouts "Tomorrow Power" award; Latino Community Mana de Michigan Adelita (sister) award; the American Business Women Association award; the Women of Wayne State University Alumni Association "1997 Headliner" award; the Women Informal Network "1997 List of 150 Most Influential Black Women in Metro Detroit" award and the "2005 Legislator of the Year" award by the Michigan School Social Workers Association. She was presented with the "2016 Women of Excellence Award" by the Michigan Chronicle.
Staff: Shannon Guyton
Fax: (313) 967-1244
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