Professor Wilkerson received her Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley in 1972. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was Director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Study, Education, and Advancement of Women. As Chair of UC Berkeley’s Department of African American Studies from 1988-1994, she led the faculty to establish the Ph.D. Program in African Diaspora Studies. Professor Wilkerson chaired the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies from 1995-1998, where she led the development of the new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Performance Studies. Most recently, she was Director of Media Arts and Culture for the Ford Foundation in New York. She was the 2009 Commencement Speaker for the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.