Harvard Black Alumni Society

Harvard Black Alumni Weekend 2014

October 10 - 12, 2014
Cambridge, MA

Harvard College • Harvard Business School • Harvard Law School • Harvard Medical School •
Harvard School of Public Health • Harvard School of Dental Medicine •
Harvard Divinity School • Harvard Kennedy School of Government •
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences • Harvard Graduate School of Design •
Harvard Graduate School of Education • Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University •
Harvard University Division of Continuing Education • Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


10:45am - 11:45am        Breakout Session I
Harvard at 378: An Examination of the State of Affairs at Harvard University
Location: Harvard Memorial Church, Harvard Yard

A discussion on the evolution of Diversity, Teaching and Admissions at Harvard University. A Harvard University Professors and Administration panel.
Professor Henry “Skip” Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor; Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.  Literary scholar, filmmaker, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder, Professor Gates has created 13 documentary films and authored 16 books and scores of articles, including for such leading publications as The New Yorker, the New York Times and Time.  Currently, he serves as editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine, while overseeing the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field.  Professor Gates’s most recent film, the six-part PBS documentary series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which he wrote, executive produced and hosted, earned the 2013 Peabody Award and NAACP Image Award.  Professor Gates is currently shooting the next season of Finding Your Roots, airing on PBS in fall 2014.  The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader, a collection of his writings, was published in 2012.

The recipient of 53 honorary degrees and numerous prizes, Professor Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation in 1981, and in 1998, he became the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal.  He was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, to Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and toEbony’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012.  He earned his B.A. in English Language and Literature, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1973, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge in 1979.  Professor Gates has directed The W.E.B. Institute for African and African American Research—now The Hutchins Center—since arriving at Harvard in 1991 and, during his first 15 years on campus, chaired the Department of Afro-American Studies as it expanded into the Department of African and African American Studies with a full-fledged doctoral program.  He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves on a wide array of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Aspen Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Library of America, and the Brookings Institute.

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law; Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School

Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. Professor Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice www.charleshamiltonhouston.org in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer and mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal, and policy issues over the past 6 years.

Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice. His most recent publication is a book co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College entitled Life without Parole: America's New Death Penalty? (NYU Press, 2012). Other publications include The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).In November 2009, NYU Press published Professor Ogletree’s book, co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat, The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States. Also edited with Austin Sarat, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America were published by NYU Press in January of 2009 and May of 2006 respectively. His historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2004. Professor Ogletree also co-authored Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (Northeastern University Press 1995).

Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools. Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

In 2009 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Professor Ogletree one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. Every year since 2006, Professor Ogletree has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as National President from 1977-1978. Professor Ogletree also received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College.

Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975. They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree, and grandparents to granddaughters, Marquelle, Nia Mae, Jamila Ogletree, and Makayla George. The Ogletrees live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

David L. Evans, Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard College

David L. Evans, Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard College, was born the fourth of seven children to sharecroppers at Wabash in Phillips County on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River Delta. His parents had a combined six years of formal education and both died before he turned seventeen. Even so, all seven of the children attended college; five graduated, and three earned post graduate degrees from Northwestern, Princeton and U. C. L. A. David’s undergraduate and graduate training was in electrical engineering at Tennessee State and Princeton Universities, respectively.

Although he and his three younger siblings were technically orphans when their mother died, their older sister, Maxine, (the first family member to attend college) would hear no such thing. She, therefore, left LeMoyne College in Memphis a month before graduation to come home and head the household to prevent an unthinkable fragmentation of the family. Through the benevolence of certain school administrators she was able to work as a substitute teacher during the week and commute up to Memphis on weekends and graduated the next year. She was then offered a full-time job teaching at an elementary school.

Like so many other black youth in poverty-stricken Phillips County, David worked part time at any job he could find—including catching trucks to the fields to pick cotton in fall and winter or chop weeds from its rows in spring and summer. Typical pay for a day’s work in the fields usually amounted to three or four dollars.

During his final two and a half years of high school he worked after school and on weekends for merchants in downtown Helena at miscellaneous jobs to meet his own expenses and help with household expenses. That work and his outstanding performance in high school brought him into conversations with men and women who appreciated the transformative value of a college education and whose wise counsel reinforced advice Maxine had offered.

These conversations and the interests they aroused set David on a path to college that eventually led him to Nashville and Tennessee State University. From necessity, however, his perspective in college (and several years thereafter) was through a split vision where concern for himself was always shared with a concern for his siblings back home.

Upon graduation he was employed in the aerospace industry for Boeing and Lockheed in such far-flung places as Seattle, WA, Vandenberg AFB, CA, Minot AFB, ND, Whiteman AFB, MO and Huntsville, Alabama. As the economic status of the family improved, he considered graduate school and broached the topic with Maxine. Unselfishly, she approved, although David would later learn that, without his contributions, things were difficult back home.

In 1964 he entered graduate school at Princeton on full financial aid and, in 1966, earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. He then returned to Huntsville, Alabama to work on the Saturn Apollo Project for IBM’s Federal Systems Division.

While working in Huntsville he noticed that few talented and deserving black students from hardship backgrounds were getting to college from the newly-integrated schools. Using his own family model as inspiration, he set out to find one or two such students and counsel them for college as Maxine had counseled him and his younger siblings. In looking for those two, he found many and his efforts were successful beyond his fondest dreams. A little more than two years of spare-time effort produced recruits who were admitted to Amherst, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Hampshire, Harvard, Pembroke, Princeton, St. Mary’s (of South Bend, Indiana), Smith, Stanford, U.C.L.A., Washington State, Wisconsin, and a half dozen historically black colleges in the South.

News of his success circulated and he was made formal job offers by Harvard, M.I.T., and the College Entrance Examination Board. He was most impressed by Dr. Chase N. Peterson, Dean of Admissions at Harvard, accepted his offer and joined the staff during the 1969/70 year on a “two-year” leave-of-absence from IBM to serve as an assistant director of admissions.

When David began at Harvard the country and campus were still reeling from the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, from confrontations regarding the establishment of the Harvard Afro-American Studies Department in 1969, as well as from nationwide clashes between law enforcement and the Black Panthers. This was also during the freshman year of the Class of 1973 in which the number of African American students was almost twice that of the Class of 1972. Unfortunately, the proportion of black faculty and administrators didn’t match, in the least, the sudden upsurge of students.

After months of conversations with John Harwell who, a year and a half earlier, was the first black person hired by the Harvard Admissions Office, meals with dozens of black students as well as several faculty members and administrators, he was convinced that something profound was happening at Harvard and on other college campuses around the country. He was also influenced by an offer from Dean of Freshmen, F. Skiddy von Stade, to become a proctor and advisor to freshmen in Harvard Yard. Combining these experiences with his meeting Mercedes Sherrod, a student visiting campus from the University of Pennsylvania, and he decided that college administration was more his life’s work than the Saturn Apollo Project. The “two-year leave-of-absence” is long forgotten now and David has helped to admit 44 classes to Harvard and has been married to Mercedes for 40 years.

During his four decades at Harvard David was a freshman proctor for seven years, Assistant Dean of Freshmen for four years, a freshman advisor for 21 years, member of the Advisory Committee to the Harvard Foundation on Race Relations since 1981, a trustee of St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island for 15 years, is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Roxbury Latin School, a member of the Community Advisory Board of television station WGBH in Boston, a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Student Agencies, a tutor in an after-school program at Charles Street AME Church in Boston.

In 1986 he received the “C. Clyde Ferguson Award” that was given annually to the person “who has done most to enhance the diversity of Harvard University,” he was recognized by President George W. Bush as the 311th “Daily Point of Light” in 1990 for his volunteer work at Charles Street AME Church, was accorded “Harvard University Special Volunteer” recognition in 1995, was invited by President Bill Clinton in 1997 as a special guest to the 40th Anniversary Observance of the 1957 Little Rock Central High School Crisis, was awarded Harvard’s highest honor given to an administrator, “The Harvard Administrative/Professional Prize” 2002, and had a scholarship fund established in his honor by African American alums at the Black Alumni Weekend of 2003 hoping to raise $250,000 by 2006 that actually raised more than $1,000,000 with Ray McGuire ’79 and Martha Newton ’79 as co-chairs of the effort. At about the same time David’s former proctee, Edward M. “Ned” Lamont ’76, endowed a “David L. Evans Scholarship” for a student from Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In his years at Harvard David says that he has been influenced by a maxim from his childhood: “A changing of the guard without a guarding of the change is movement without maintenance and might well be counterproductive.”

Dr. Karen Jackson-Weaver (Ed. M. '95), Dean of Students, Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Karen Jackson-Weaver is the Senior Associate Dean of Degree Programs & Student Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  In this role, Dr. Jackson-Weaver oversees the staff in the degree programs and student affairs departments, including admissions, student financial services, the registrar's office, student services, career advancement, student diversity and inclusion, and the school's various master's, joint, concurrent and PhD programs.  She also directs all student related programming outside of the classroom and serves on the School's Management Operations Group.
Dr. Jackson-Weaver earned her Bachelor's Degree at Princeton University; a Master's in Education from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; and two Master's Degrees and a PhD in American History from Columbia University, where she was a Kluge Scholar Fellow, Merit Dissertation fellowship winner and nominee for the university-wide teaching award. She serves as the National Series Editor for the Teaching Religious Studies Series produced by Oxford University Press and the American Academy of Religion and is a former editorial board member of the Columbia Historical Review.  Her research and teaching interests include: socio-historical approaches to public policy, leadership and governance as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender and religion in national and international contexts. Dr. Jackson-Weaver is the author of a forthcoming book titled "Lift Every Voice: The Invisible Leadership and Faith of Black Women during the Civil Rights Era," a study of women’s political leadership roles during the civil rights era. She is at work on a second book project which examines the leadership and rhetoric of Septima Clark, a female African-American political leader and strategist, who worked closely with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to create Citizenship Schools and voting rights campaigns throughout the American south vis-à-vis political groups such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

For the past seven years, Dr. Jackson-Weaver played a key leadership role in administration at Princeton University, where she served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Diversity and director of the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE) Program at Princeton University’s Graduate School.  She represented the Dean on university committees, task forces, and working groups to solve a variety of complex problems. She was also an active member of the Council on International Teaching and Research, the Honorary Degrees committee and the University-wide Diversity Council. In addition, Dr. Jackson-Weaver worked collaboratively with faculty and staff throughout the University to address matters of institutional policy and resource allocation for many of the Graduate School’s academic initiatives and programs. As an Academic Dean, she worked closely with all 44 departments and programs as well as with directors of graduate studies in the admissions, re-enrollment and final public orals processes. During her tenure at the Graduate School, she tripled recruitment and outreach efforts for women in the sciences and other historically underrepresented groups including African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Simultaneously, she spearheaded successful retention initiatives including the Academic Success Series seminar and an Interdisciplinary Dissertation writing group, which resulted in significantly increased completion and graduation rates for Master’s and Doctoral degree students.  For her efforts, she was selected to receive the Donald Griffin '23 Award, an honor reserved for two members of the entire university in recognition of exemplary leadership. In addition, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King Journey Award for special achievement in recruiting, retaining and graduating women in the sciences and students of color.
Dr. Jackson-Weaver has been a Fellow at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.  In addition, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the King Center Library and Archives in Atlanta, GA. She is a former editor of the journal, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and a former editorial board member of the Columbia Historical Review. Dr. Jackson-Weaver has taught at Princeton and Columbia Universities and served on the faculty at the Institute of Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.  In 2005, she was selected to be one of two Engle Scholars at Princeton Theological Seminary which is a program designed to bring promising scholars to the seminary for an experience in the pattern of the Rhodes scholarship program at Oxford.  Dr. Jackson-Weaver has received a number of fellowships and awards for her research and her professional service includes national appointments such as: Co-Chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Group in the American Academy of Religion and former National Advisory Member of the Council of Graduate School’s Diversity Executive Committee.
Prior to her post at Princeton, Dr. Jackson-Weaver served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission and Founding Director of the Amistad Summer Institute at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University where she reported to the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Education. Under her administration, the Commission was featured in CNN News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Black Enterprise, Newsweek, Forbes and CBS News for its innovative approach to integrating African-American history into the social studies curriculum in New Jersey’s public schools. In this role, Dr. Jackson-Weaver facilitated and led workshops and institutes throughout the country. In addition, she served as a consultant and advisor to the Amistad Digital Resource Project and edited two volumes of primary source documents which culminated into the publications, Reconstruction Reconsidered: The African-American Presence in American History and the Amistad Curricular Guide to American History.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver is married to John Weaver Jr. (Princeton-BA, Wharton-University of Pennsylvania-MBA), President and CEO of Varsity Software, Inc. and the proud mother of Adia Grace and John III.

Abigail Mariam '15, Harvard College Student and Publicity Liaison for the I, Too, Am Harvard Campaign

Abigail Mariam is a senior at Harvard College studying government. She has worked on the I, Too, Am Harvard campaign as a publicity liaison, corresponding with members of the press preceding the production, and as liaison to administrators, setting up meetings with the Deans and President Faust.

Jacqueline Adams '(MBA '78)
President, J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC

Jacqueline Adams launched a second career as a communications strategist after more than two decades as an Emmy Award winning CBS News correspondent.  A natural “connector” and talented interviewer and moderator, she has demonstrated her ability to hear clients’ strategic concerns and find creative solutions, often drawing on her wealth of contacts and experiences.

Through her boutique consulting firm, J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC, she provides communications counsel to corporate and non-profit clients. She played a major role in the launch of the internet portal, Africa.com and spent almost four years as a senior counselor for the global communications firm, Burson-Marsteller.

During her CBS News career, Ms. Adams covered the groundbreaking campaigns of Jesse Jackson for President and Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President before spending five years as a White House correspondent during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.  In the 1990s, she described her beat as “mayhem and the arts.”  She covered the trials of mass murderers Jeffrey Dahmer and Colin Ferguson and earned an Emmy Award for her work on the prime time broadcast, 48 Hours.  For CBS Sunday Morning, she covered a series of blockbuster French Impressionist exhibits throughout the 1990s and developed an expertise in 20th century African-American art.

A graduate of Harvard Business School, Ms. Adams now deliberately saves time for a number of non-profit activities.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of New York City and the KIPP Charter Schools in New York City.  For 10 years, she has co-led the HBS African-American Alumni Association mentoring program with KIPP Academy 7th graders in the South Bronx.

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Program Committee of the Harvard Club of New York City and is a patron member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  Ms. Adams is active on two councils at the New-York Historical Society: the Chairman’s Council (the museum’s major donor group) as well as the Frederick Douglass Council, which she launched in 2012.

2:15pm - 3:30pm        Breakout Session II
The New Africa: A Fresh Look Through a New Prism
Location: Harvard Memorial Church, Harvard Yard

A landmark discussion of modern day Africa from a business, social, political and philanthropic perspective
Ozwald Boateng, OBE – Fashion Designer, Ozwald Boateng, Founder and Trustee, Made in Africa Foundation

International Fashion Designer Ozwald Boateng is Founder of the brand OzwaldBoateng – ‘Bespoke Couture Ltd’. Celebrating over 25 years in fashion, OzwaldBoateng conceived a new silhouette and palette for international menswear; creating a concept of style and luxury for men not previously envisaged but desired by men everywhere.  Previously, he held the position of Creative Director of Givenchy Homme. He began making bespoke suits in the 1980’s and is widely credited with introducing Savile Row tailoring to a new generation. In 1994, he was the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris during Paris Fashion week.  Boateng’s many clients include Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Daniel Day Lewis, Russell Crowe, Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Spike Lee, and Mick Jagger. 

He was recently awarded a honorary degree for ‘An Outstanding Contribution to the Clothing and Fashion industries’, Named as one of the Most Influential Londoners by the Evening Standard and awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2006 Queen's New Year's Honours.

Ozwald Boateng also co-founded Made In Africa Foundation, in 2011 alongside Kola Aluko and Atlantic Energy. The Foundation was set up to support and fund master plans and feasibility studies for transformational and large scale developments and infrastructure projects across the African continent, introducing a funding mechanism to assist successful businesses in Africa to transform their existing investments and prospects and give Africa Independence through development and infrastructure. 

Patrice Motsepe - Founder and Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals, Ltd.

Patrice Motsepe is the Founder and Executive Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).

Patrice was a partner in one of the largest law firms in South Africa, Bowman Gilfillan Inc. He was a visiting attorney in the USA with the law firm, McGuire Woods Battle and Boothe (Richmond, Virginia).

In 1994 he founded Future Mining, which grew rapidly to become a successful contract mining company. He then formed ARMgold in 1997, which listed on the JSE in 2002. ARMgold merged with Harmony in 2003 and this ultimately led to the takeover of Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).

Patrice is the recipient of numerous local and international Business and Leadership Awards, including:

  • World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Leader of Tomorrow, 1999.
  • South Africa’s Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year in 2002, voted by the CEOs of the top 100 companies in South Africa.
  • The Ernst & Young Best Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2002.
  • Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut(AHI), MS Louw Award for Exceptional Business Achievement 2003.
  • BusinessMap Foundation, Business Leadership Award 2003.
  • Old Mutual Institute of Leadership, Business Leadership Award 2004
  • South African Jewish Report, Special Board Members Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2004.
  • African Business Roundtable, USA, Entrepreneur & Freedom of Trade Award 2009.
  • McGuire Woods Outstanding Alumnus Award, 2009.
  • Black Management Forum (BMF) Presidential Award for Business Excellence 2010.
  • Jewish Achievers Awards, Chivas Humanitarian Award, 2013.

In January 2013, Patrice and his wife, Precious joined the Giving Pledge, which was initiated by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. Patrice committed to give half of the wealth of the Motsepe family to the poor during his lifetime and beyond and that of his wife.

Patrice is also the Chairman of the BRICS Business Council for 2013. He is a member of the International Business Council (IBC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is made up of 100 of the most highly respected and influential chief executives from all industries. He is also a member of the JP Morgan International Council.

Patrice was:

  • President of NAFCOC which is the oldest Black Business organisation in South Africa (2002-2006)
  • President of the Black Business Council (BBC) (2002-2004)
  • Founding President of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), official representative organisation of business in South Africa (2003–2008)

He is currently the Non-executive Chairman of Harmony and the Deputy Chairman of Sanlam and is also the President of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.

Funke Opeke -  Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Cable

Funke was born and raised in Nigeria where she obtained a degree in Electronics & electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1981 before she proceeded to New York for a Master’s degree at Columbia University. Following graduation from Columbia, Funke pursued a career in ICT in the United States and successfully ended that phase of her career as an Executive Director with the Wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York when she decided to return to Nigeria in 2005. She joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer, and also served as adviser to Transcorp and Chief Operating Officer of NITEL for a brief period before launching Main Street Technologies in 2007. The company went on to raise $240 Million to build the pioneer private submarine cable system in West Africa – Main One Cable. The 7,000km cable runs from Portugal down to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria and is delivering wholesale broadband capacity across several countries in West Africa today.

Teresa Clarke (BA '84, JD '87. MBA'88) 
Chairman and Executive Editor, Africa.com

Teresa Clarke, an investment banker and internet entrepreneur, has been doing business in Africa for twenty years.  Ms. Clarke was the first African-American woman to serve as a Managing Director in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, where she led corporate finance and merger & acquisition deals for corporate clients in the industrials and real estate sectors for over a dozen years. She is now the Chairman & CEO of Africa.com, the leading website providing news and information about Africa to over 2 million monthly visitors, from over 200 countries around the world.

Ms. Clarke has taken sabbaticals from the investment banking industry twice in her career, during which time she has pursued entrepreneurial ventures in Africa.   During her first sabbatical in the mid-1990s, Ms. Clarke founded and directed the Southern African practice of a US management consulting firm.  During that five year period from 1995 – 2000 when she lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ms. Clarke was very active in the local community and among other activities, served as Vice-Chairman of the US- South Africa Business Council, the Washington based organization representing America’s leading companies doing business with South Africa.

Ms. Clarke has a deep understanding of corporate social responsibility undertaken by American corporations doing business in Africa.  As a social entrepreneur, Ms. Clarke founded the Student Sponsorship Programme of South Africa, a large scale non-profit operating in the education sector in South Africa for fifteen years that has awarded nearly 2,000 South African students with scholarships valued at over $15 million.  Ms. Clarke has secured corporate social responsibility funding for the program from a wide range of US corporations doing business in Africa including Citibank, JPMorganChase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and AIG, among others.

Ms. Clarke’s vast experience doing business in Africa also includes serving on the investment committee of a $120 million private equity fund that invested in the Southern Africa Region, serving on the board of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria whose focus is promotion of entrepreneurship across Africa, teaching corporate finance in the MBA program of Wits Business School in South Africa, and authoring the very popular “Ten Things No One Told You About Doing Business in Africa”

Ms. Clarke has lectured on doing business in Africa extensively, and delivered the keynote address at the 2013 White House conference on Doing Business in Africa, as well as the South African Consulate’s conference on Doing Business in South Africa.  In addition, she has lectured on this topic at several major universities around the world including Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Princeton, Wellesley, Tufts, Oxford, and Lagos Business School.

Ms. Clarke produced and directed a 2013 documentary, Africa Straight Up which explores current developments in the business and technology sectors in Africa.  The film, originally produced for digital distribution, inspired a strong offline following and was broadcast on television on the Africa Channel in both the US and the UK, selected as documentary of the month by AFTV in the Netherlands, screened at the Council on Foreign Relations, and licensed as in flight entertainment by South African Airlines and Arik Airlines of Nigeria. It is scheduled to air on BET, including over twenty African countries in the fourth quarter of 2014.  Ms. Clarke also delivered a TED Talk on Bridging the African Diaspora Divide.

Ms. Clarke earned an A.B. in Economics, cum laude, from Harvard College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She has earned numerous awards for her business and philanthropic work in Africa, including two awards from the South African government, and was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women by the Network Journal.  Over the years she has served on a long list of corporate and non-profit boards.

Kwame Owusu-Kesse, Chief Operating Officer, first joined the Harlem Children’s Zone in August 2008. He previously served as a Senior Manger for Promise Academy Afterschool Programs and Special Assistant to the CEO Geoffrey Canada, responsible for agency-wide special projects. Before coming to HCZ, he served as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City. Mr. Owusu-Kesse received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College, his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and his Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Karen L. Mapp, EdD, is Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program. Over the past twenty years, Karen’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. She has served as the co-coordinator with Professor Mark Warren of the Community Organizing and School Reform Research Project and as a core faculty member in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EDLD) program at HGSE. She is a founding member of the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement, is a trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, MA, and is on the board of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, DC.  From 2011 to 2013, Karen served as a consultant on family engagement to the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement.

Karen joined HGSE in January of 2005 after serving for eighteen months as the Deputy Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement for the Boston Public Schools (BPS).  While working with the BPS, she continued to fulfill her duties as president of the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE).  Karen joined IRE in 1997 as Project Director, was appointed vice-president of IRE in May of 1998 and served as president from September 1998 to December 2004.  Karen holds a Doctorate and Master’s of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Master’s in Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Karen is the author and co-author of several articles and books about the role of families and community members in the work of student achievement and school improvement including: A New Wave Of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002); “Having Their Say: Parents Describe How and Why They are Engaged in Their Children’s Learning” (2003); Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2010); “Debunking the Myth of the Hard to Reach Parent” (2010); “Title I and Parent Involvement: Lessons from the Past, Recommendations for the Future” (2011); and A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (2011).

Mr. Tracy “Ty” Moore II is the cofounder of Mindblown Labs, an education technology company that creates highly interactive, experiential learning tools to empower young people to make better life decisions. His company’s first financial capability solution is Thrive 'n' Shine, a captivating mobile app/game that teaches teens and young adults about personal finance.

The mission of Mindblown Labs is to empower young people to master financial literacy and other 21st century skills through tech-powered, interactive experiences. Its games are highly-engaging, mobile social games that help teens and young adults develop financial literacy and other 21st century skills.

Mr. Moore received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 2006.  

Jessie Woolley-Wilson is Chair, President and CEO of DreamBox Learning®, the company that developed the Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ platform heralded as a “game changer” in the eLearning sector by nationally renowned academic and technology pundits. Jessie brings nearly two decades of experience in K-12 e-learning and education technology to DreamBox Learning.  Throughout her career in the education industry, Jessie has held several leadership roles in general management, sales and marketing, operations, and business development.

Before joining DreamBox Learning, Jessie was President of the K–12 Group at Blackboard where she led the company’s growth and development for the virtual and blended online learning market. Prior to Blackboard, she was President of LeapFrog SchoolHouse, the schools division of LeapFrog Enterprises, where she established SchoolHouse as a leader in education technology and one of the fastest growing educational software producers in the United States.

Jessie has also held leadership positions at collegeboard.com, the interactive division of the College Board; MyRoad.com, an e-learning company that helps middle school, high school, and college students prepare for college and careers; and Kaplan, the leading test preparation company in the United States.

As an education industry leader, Jessie serves on boards for several organizations including the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL); Islandwood, an environmental learning center that connects children to the outdoors; Camelot Education; and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Jessie also served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology and Education. In 2012, she was named to the Forbes “Impact 15” list for being a disruptor of education and honored as a “Woman of Influence” by The Puget Sound Business Journal for making an impact in the education technology industry as well as the community. In 2011, Jessie was spotlighted as a “Best Leaders to Watch” in EdNET’s “Best for 2011,” a peer recognition program.

Jessie received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in English from the University of Virginia. She is a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Enoch Woodhouse serves as the Chief Executive Officer of St. HOPE Public Schools, a charter management organization operating four schools in Sacramento and serving more than 2,000 students (grades PK-12). Mr. Woodhouse previously served as the Vice President of Operations of StudentsFirst, a national movement of more than 2 million citizens advocating for common-sense education policies in states across the country. Mr. Woodhouse joined StudentsFirst from the District of Columbia Public Schools, where he led the District’s effort to deliver increased information about the district's schools to the public. Mr. Woodhouse earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.

JudyAnn Bigby, M.D. is a Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research where she is helping to lead work on the evaluation of state health reform efforts on access, quality of care, costs and public health. Prior to joining Mathematica she served as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from January 2007 through January 2013. As Secretary she was responsible for implementing many of the aspects of the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law. As Secretary, Dr. Bigby also worked to achieve higher
quality of health care and better health for Massachusetts residents while leading Governor Deval Patrick’s efforts to address the high cost of health care. Her efforts made Massachusetts one of the nation’s leading states in forging efforts to reform health care delivery systems to build a strong primary care foundation, to integrate primary care and behavioral health care, and to reform payment based on outcomes including for the most vulnerable populations. During her tenure the state achieved significant improvements in the delivery of mental health services for children, expanding community-based services for people with disabilities, implementing suicide prevention for veterans, and in reducing smoking rates, HIV deaths, and cancer deaths in Massachusetts.

Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Dr. Bigby served as the Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and as the Director of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. She attained national recognition for her pioneering work to eliminate health disparities among low-income and minority women through the design of clinical programs, education of health professionals, and community based research in areas such as breast and cervical cancer mortality. She practiced primary care internal medicine, specializing in women’s health, for more than 25 years.

In 2011 President Obama appointed her as one of the inaugural members of theAdvisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council. She is a member of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees. She serves on the board of directors of South Africa Partners, an organization that facilitates partnerships between South Africa and the US to advance health care and education in South Africa.

Dr. Bigby holds a BA from Wellesley College and received the Alumnae Achievement Award in 2007. She holds an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School as well as honorary degrees from Lesley University, Pine Manor College, and the New England College of Law.

Felton Earls, M.D., Research Professor of Human Behavior and Development, HSPH, and Professor of Social Medicine, Emeritus, HMS

Dr. Earls was principal investigator of a large-scale epidemiological project examining the causes and consequences of children’s exposure to community and family violence. This project was situated in the city of Chicago, where a team of researchers studied the physical health, educational and occupational achievement, and social relationships of children from birth to adulthood. Detailed attention was given to the social and physical characteristics of the neighborhoods in which they lived. The project represents one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of child and youth development ever undertaken.

Dr. Earls is a coauthor of Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy originally published in Science (August 1997). Since publication of this paper, the project’s multilevel, longitudinal design has yielded many important findings related to neighborhood effects on birth weight, childcare, adolescent sexual health, asthma, mental health, and adult mortality.

Dr. Earls and his colleagues also have studied the psychosocial impacts of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on children. Using methods developed for the Chicago study, they conducted an analysis in Tanzania of the role of community attitudes and perceptions about the disease and its impact on children. The project was designed to reduce stigma and increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS at the level of communities and aimed at helping to devise more effective community-based interventions to support the well-being of children. Dr. Earls conceives all of his research from the perspectives of child rights and health promotion.

Cara James is the Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  CMS OMH was established by the Affordable Care Act, and strives to ensure that the voices and the needs of minority populations are represented throughout the agency’s work.  Among other things, CMS OMH is working to help the newly insured understand and appropriately utilize their coverage to live long and healthy lives, improve the collection of race and ethnicity data throughout CMS, and better address the needs of beneficiaries with limited English proficiency.

Prior to joining the Office of Minority Health at CMS, Dr. James was the Director of the Disparities Policy Project and the Director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she worked on a broad array of health and access issues for racial and ethnic minorities, including the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act and understanding state-level disparities in health and access to care.  Prior to joining the staff at Kaiser, she worked at Harvard University and The Picker Institute.

Dr. James is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities and has served on several IOM committees including the Committee on Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020.  Cara received her Ph.D. in Health Policy and her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard University.

Hakeem Rahim, Ed.M, M.A. had the distinct honor of being the first African-American male valedictorian in Uniondale High School's history. He went on to graduate with a BA in psychology from Harvard University, and dual masters from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.  

Hakeem is a graduate of iPEC, an accredited life coach training institute and is a de Bono Group, LLC consultant.  In 2007, Hakeem founded Live Breathe, LLC.  Live Breathe, LLC is a professional consultative services company that focuses on mental health advocacy and educational consulting.   Hakeem is an experienced public speaker most notably on the mental health and education topics.  

In 2012, Hakeem began speaking openly about his 14 year journey with bipolar disorder.  He is a certified National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) In Our Own Voice speaker and the NAMI Queens/Nassau Let’s Talk Mental Illness presenter.  Through his speaking and advocacy work, Hakeem has spoken to law enforcement officials, individuals with mental illness and their family members and to over 5,900 high school and middle school students.  In March 2014, Hakeem testified on Capitol Hill in front of the Energy and Commerce Congressional Committee where he shared his experience living with bipolar disorder.  He has been featured in major news outlets for his advocacy work including USA Today. Through Live Breathe, LLC, Hakeem offers mental health: speaking engagements and professional development workshops.  Hakeem is also a poet and recorded spoken word artist.  You can find more about him at hakeemrahim.com and more about LTMI at btslessonplans.org.

Candice Teri-Lowe Player graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2002 with an AB in Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Candice holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Health Policy from Harvard University. In 2003 she earned an M.Phil in Criminology from Cambridge University, where her research addressed the use of civil commitment to restrain dangerous offenders preventively and indefinitely, both in the United Kingdom and the United States. Candice is currently the Naidoff Fellow in Health Policy, Law and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine. Her scholarly research examines efforts to improve treatment compliance among people with mental illnesses who require care, but resist treatment nonetheless. Candice is a native New Yorker and a member of the New York State Bar. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and hiking.

Emily Anadu heads marketing for UP, the activity tracker by Jawbone. In her role, she works cross functionally across the organization on issues ranging from big data and behavior change to artist collaborations. Before joining Jawbone, Emily spent eight years in the gaming industry serving as Director of Product Marketing at Zynga, publisher of online and mobile games and Director of Brand Marketing for Capcom, the Japanese video game publisher responsible for such iconic franchises as Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Marvel vs Capcom and Mega-Man.  Prior to Zynga and Capcom, Emily held roles at Atari and EA SPORTS. 

In these roles, Emily has managed teams and budgets to develop marketing strategies to launch hardware and software ultimately driving sales, buzz and community engagement. In addition to traditional marketing vehicles such as TV and online advertising, Emily has driven relationships with promotional and lifestyle partners such as Nike, Sephora and Kid Robot to engage a diverse range of communities, further extending marketing budgets. Her roles also involved working closely with external partners such as  Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to drive co-marketing programs and retailer partners such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon to develop in store marketing programs.  

Kobie Fuller joined Accel with more than 10 years of experience in funding and building software companies, and adds highly specialized marketing technology expertise to the investment team. At Accel he helps identify and work with entrepreneurs who are building category-defining companies.

 Prior to Accel, Kobie spent two years as the Chief Marketing Officer of REVOLVEclothing, a leading online fashion retailer, where he built the marketing team and instituted automation and analytics across his department. Prior to that, he spent nearly a decade as an investor focused on identifying, funding and building leading software companies, such as Oculus VR (acquired by Facebook), Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce), Monetate, Instructure and Loyalty Lab (acquired by Tibco). He was a founding member of OpenView Venture Partners, where he helped lead the initial fund formation and raised over $240 million in committed capital. Prior to OpenView, Kobie was an investor at Insight Venture Partners.

Kobie graduated from Harvard University where he was also captain of the track team and an Ivy League champion sprinter

Kimberly joined Uber in 2012 and led initiatives in product, operations and policy prior to spearheading Uber's third party advocacy efforts.  Kimberly spans Policy, Communications, Operations and Business Development to engage Uber’s staunchest supporters in ensuring Uber remains a safe, reliable and affordable transportation alternative and flexible economic opportunity throughout North America.

Prior to Uber, Kimberly invested in infrastructure assets across multiple industries in private equity at Macquarie Capital and executed over $3 billion of financings for municipal utilities nationwide at Morgan Stanley.  As a new venture consultant, Kimberly focused on growth strategy, financial modeling and fundraising for new ventures in the food and wine industry.  While pursuing her MBA, Kimberly interned at multiple venture capital funds and explored three new ventures with her classmates. 

Based in Uber's San Francisco Headquarters, Kimberly is from Roswell, GA and has lived in Boston, New York, Chicago, Miami and Paris.  Kimberly loves snowboarding, boats and exploring the world through food and wine, having traveled to 31 countries and counting.  Kimberly earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and undergraduate degrees in Economics and French from Harvard University.

Andrew Lindsay currently serves as the VP, Head of Corporate Development at Jawbone, the world's leading venture-backed consumer electronics and wearable products company.  Lindsay leads the company's acquisition, investment and corporate partnership activities and has led some of the largest acquisitions in the wearables sector, including the acquisitions of BodyMedia and Massive Health.  He is deeply involved in the company's equity and debt fundraising and corporate social responsibility leadership.  Prior to his current role, Lindsay served as Chief of Staff to Jawbone's CEO.  

In addition to his role at Jawbone, Lindsay is the Advisory Chair of TechSF, San Francisco's technology workforce development initiative, and is a member of the Workforce Investment San Francisco Board, both by appointment of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  

He previously advised Fortune 500 clients on corporate strategy as a consultant for McKinsey & Company and on corporate transactions as a member of Merrill Lynch's mergers and acquisitions team.  

Lindsay is a member of the New York University teaching staff where he has taught on corporate financial modeling.  Lindsay's political experience includes working in the White House Office of News Analysis and helping lead the victorious election campaign of Congressman Jim Himes.

Lindsay, a native of Toronto, Canada, earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Howard University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Lindsay resides in San Francisco with his wife Otilia Mirambeaux (AB '02).

Lisa Jones Johnson is an attorney and experienced media and entertainment executive whose background includes senior management positions in large media companies, running digital media start-ups and positions as a corporate, transactional and entertainment lawyer. She is a co-founder of SafeTComm, Inc. a company whose mission is to empower the communications revolution around safety. SafeTComm has launched the PRZ app which stands for your “Personal Red Zone” which allows individuals to take charge of their personal safety, both by creating their own social safety network and by anonymously reporting unsafe behavior to law enforcement and PRZ social media.

Ms. Jones Johnson’s experience in digital media, includes her tenure as co-CEO of the Global Broadcasting Company which launched two 24/7 television channels outside the US, focusing on independently produced US content in the areas of music, hip hop culture and general entertainment. The channels were carried on IP, set-top box, satellite and mobile platforms and were available to over 50 million viewers in 220 countries. In 2005, Ms. Jones was recruited as CEO of Comedy Express, a start-up television broadband company focusing on delivering short form comedy content to young adult males. As CEO of Comedy Express, Ms. Jones Johnson fashioned a branding strategy tying live events with channel marketing that was designed to reach the target audience through a multi-platform strategy. Based on the success of that strategy, industry heavy weight National Lampoon Inc. acquired the Company in 2007.

Prior to being named Chief Executive Officer of Comedy Express, Ms. Jones Johnson served as Executive Vice President of Development and Operations for Western International Syndicationwhere she Executive Produced over 100 hours of television programming. She was part of the management team that took Western private in a management leveraged buy out. The company had formerly been a division of Western Media and The Interpublic Group of companies. During her nearly six years at Western, Ms. Jones Johnson oversaw development, creative strategy and operations, including Executive Producing over 100 episodes of television programming, which included a movie for the Sci Fi Network (now SyFy) and 130 episodes of the game show On the Cover for NBC and the Pax Television Network. While at Western, Ms. Jones Johnson also worked extensively in the international television arena including structuring a co-production and distribution deal with French Broadcaster TF-1 for the development of a one hour dramatic series.

Prior to joining Western, Ms. Jones Johnson was the acting Chief Operating Officer of Al Anwa USA, a privatel held Saudi company. At the time, Al Anwa USA was the largest owner of Ritz Carlton Hotels and the company’s portfolio of real estate included the Ritz Carlton Hotels in New York, Houston, Aspen and Washington D.C, two boutique hotels in Marina Del Rey, California and a Marriott in Chicago. Ms. Jones Johnson was responsible for overseeing all operations at the hotels, including being the primary interface with the senior management of the properties. In addition, while in that position, she negotiated and successfully closed a deal with the Donald Trump Organization for the re-negotiation of the ground lease on the New York Ritz Carlton.

Ms. Jones Johnson’s extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, also includes her work as Broadcast Counsel at CBS in New York where she negotiated CBS’ billion dollar deal with Major League Baseball, one of the largest television rights deals at that time and the Albertville Winter Olympics deal. Following her work at CBS, Ms. Jones Johnson was a screenwriter and independent producer for four years with projects at Paramount and, Fox.

Finally, Ms. Jones Johnson’s experience includes her work in the music industry where she Executive Produced Lionel Hampton’s last album for Motown Records featuring performances from a star studded roster of artists including, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane and many others. Based on the success of that album she became President and General Manager of Alibi records, an independent R&B label.

Ms. Jones Johnson began her career as a corporate lawyer in New York for the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy outs and real estate finance. Ms. Jones Johnson was an Adjunct Professor of Law at USC Law School for four years, teaching a course on drafting and negotiating entertainment contracts.

Ms. Jones Johnson is an honors graduate of Harvard University and the Harvard Law School and is bi-lingual in French and proficient in Portuguese having lived in Paris France for four years, Port Au Prince, Haiti for three years and studied in Brazil on a fellowship from the Harvard Center for International Relations. Ms. Jones Johnson’s first novel A Dead Man Speaks was nominated for an Image Award in 2007 in the category of Outstanding Debut Author and also nominated for the Romantic Times’ Literary Critics Award for Best General Fiction. She is also co-author of So You Want to be a Lawyer, a non fiction guide to getting into law school and figuring out if you’ve got “what it takes” to be a lawyer. So You Want to Be A Lawyer was published January 2013 by Skyhorse Publications, distributed by Norton Simon.

Ms. Jones Johnson is a frequent speaker and panelist in the area of digital media and innovation. Some of her speaking engagements over the past two years include the April 2013 Tribeca Film Festival where she was speaker on a panel called “The Changing Face of Innovation,” at the National Association of Investment Companies’ Annual Conference on the panel on “Investing in Innovation,” at the Digital Hollywood Conference on the panel on “Branded Entertainment in a Changing Global Marketplace,” at the Harvard Law School Celebration of Black Alumni Conference as the moderator of the panel on “Social Media and Digital Media,” at the 2012 MMTC Conference in Washington as a panelist on “Women in Technology,” at the Celebration 55 Conference Celebrating 55 Years of Women at Harvard Law School, as a panelist on “Women in Entertainment,” and as the keynote speaker at the Marathon Club dinner on “Digital Media in the Global Marketplace.”

Baratunde Thurston is a technology-loving comedian from the future who cares enough about the world to engage with it politically. Yes, he votes. Regularly. With an ancestry that includes a great-grandfather who taught himself to read, a grandmother who was the first black employee at the U.S. Supreme Court building and a mother who took over radio stations in the name of the black liberation struggle, Baratunde has long been taught to question authority. It helps that he was raised in Washington, D.C. under crackhead Mayor Marion Barry.

His creative and inquisitive mind, forged by his mother’s lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, have found expression in the pages of Fast Company, on the sound waves of NPR, and on the screens of networks such as CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Al Jazeera and roughly one bajillion podcasts. He has hosted shows on Discovery Science Channel, Yahoo, and AOL.

Far from simply appearing in media, Baratunde is also helping define its future. In 2006 he co-founded Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library Of Congress. From 2007 to 2012, he helped bring one of America’s finest journalistic institutions into the future, serving as Director of Digital for The Onion. He's an affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a director's fellow at the MIT Media Lab. His book, How To Be Black, was published by Harper Collins in February 2012 and is a New York Times best-seller.

Baratunde is constantly experimenting with creative expression on digital platforms. He was named Foursquare Mayor of the Year for holding a real-world rally to defend his virtual mayorship. Every year he live hate-tweets the Twilight movies to his 100,000+ Twitter followers, and in 2009, he embodied the swine flu with a Twitter account of that name. In the summer of 2012, he co-founded Cultivated Wit, a startup that exists at the intersection of comedy, creativity, and technology to make the world more fun.

His wide range of experience and activity has earned him an equally wide range of praise. The ACLU of Michigan honored him “for changing the political and social landscape one laugh at a time.” He was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy. The Root named him to its list of 100 most influential African Americans, and Fast Company listed him as one of the 100 Most Creative People In Business. Then-candidate Barack Obama called him “someone I need to know,” and YouTube user “mooospot” referred to him as a “dumbass liberal crackhead welfare sucker.” He accepts each of these honors with equal humility.

When he’s not staring at a glowing rectangle, Mr. Thurston, which he goes by toward the end of his bio, travels the world, speaking and advising on the subjects of our digital future and storytelling, satire and democracy, and race and politics. He has spoken at countless universities (actually they are completely countable, but he's chosen not to for this document), and organizations as well as delivered keynotes at South by Southwest, Personal Democracy Forum, the Guardian Changing Media Summit, and more. In May 2011, he spoke at the presidential palace in Tbilisi, Georgia (the country) on the role of satire in a healthy democracy, and he has advised The White House on digital strategy and public engagement.

Baratunde resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years' experience being black.

Zaheer Ali is a researcher and lecturer on American and African-American history, focusing on Black freedom movements in the 20th century. As former project director of Columbia University’s Malcolm X Project, he was a lead researcher for the late Manning Marable’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention; and he is currently writing about the history of the Nation of Islam in Harlem. As a student at Harvard, he served as president of the Black Students’ Association and was one of the organizers of its 1992 “On the Harvard Plantation” campaign, which led to a College-wide review of Harvard’s race relations policies and diversity programs.

Assistant Professor in African Americans and the Law at the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Losier holds a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, where he won Ford, Mellon-Mays, and Century fellowships, and his scholarly focus is on the grassroots responses to the emergence of mass incarceration in post-World War II Chicago and the recent police torture scandal. In addition to this scholarly work, Losier is an organizer with the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign and a board member of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), which works to organize youth in response to mass incarceration and the lack of adult trauma care on Chicago's Southside.

James Johnson is a litigation partner who focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, corporate compliance and corporate crisis management in connection with internal investigations. Mr. Johnson is recognized as a leading lawyer in white collar criminal defense and is commended in The Legal 500 US (2007) for his ‘calm and methodical demeanor’ as well as his ‘clear sense of high ethics and morals’.

Most recently, Mr. Johnson was lead enforcement counsel for the team representing Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales USA in connection with investigations into reports that drivers of certain models were experiencing unintended acceleration. The team resolved investigations being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the attorneys general for 29 states and American Samoa.

Mr. Johnson has the distinction of having held several senior positions in the United States Department of the Treasury, including Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1998-2000) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1996-1998). He oversaw the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the Secret Service, the United States Customs Service, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. In total, Mr. Johnson oversaw approximately 29,000 employees and shared oversight of an operating budget exceeding $4.2 billion. Mr. Johnson also served as an Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1990-1996), where he rose to Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division (1993-1996). During his tenure in the Southern District, he assisted in the management of the Criminal Division while prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases, and was detailed to the United States Department of the Treasury to serve on the White House Security Review.

At the Department of the Treasury, Mr. Johnson oversaw many complex criminal investigations, including the multinational anti-money laundering investigation code named Operation Casablanca which ensnared banking officials and co-conspirators in Mexico, Los Angeles, New York and Colombia. Mr. Johnson led the development of the United States Government’s strategy against the Black Market Peso exchange, the largest money laundering system in the Western Hemisphere. He also spearheaded the designation of the first High Intensity Financial Crimes Areas, which focused federal and state regional efforts against money laundering.  

Since returning to private practice, Mr. Johnson has represented individuals, audit committees and corporations in connection with a wide variety of regulatory, enforcement and Congressional matters, and has taken on several high profile public projects. He now serves as Monitor in U.S. ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center of NY v. Westchester County. He also led Governor Corzine’s Advisory Committee on Police Standards.

Mr. Johnson has received numerous awards for his service and accomplishments in both private practice and public service. He is the recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award (the Department of Treasury’s highest award, given to officials for excellence in service) and the Attorney General’s Certificate for Excellence in Prosecution. In 2003, Mr. Johnson was named to Black Enterprise’s List of the Nation’s Top Black Lawyers and to Crain’s New York Business’s List of Most Powerful Minorities. Mr. Johnson was recently elected as a member of the Harvard College Board of Overseers. He is former Chair of the Board of the Brennan Center for Justice and is also a trustee of the Montclair Art Museum.

He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in national publications, of which a selected few are: “Privacy and Privilege in Cross-Jurisdictional Internal Investigations,” Internal Investigations 2009: How to Protect Your Clients or Company (2009); “Bench Unfair Judge Picking Process Now,” Daily News(2006); and “Don't Make Miranda Meaningless,” co-authored with former FBI Director William S. Sessions in The Washington Post (2003).

Mr. Johnson joined Debevoise in 1987 and rejoined in 2004 as a partner. He served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Keeton, US District Court for the District of Massachusetts (1986-1987). He received his J.D. cum laude in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he contributed to the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard College in 1983.

Patricia J. Williams (born August 28, 1951) is an American legal scholar and a proponent of critical race theory, a school of legal thought that emphasizes race as a fundamental determinant of the American legal system. 

Williams received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College in 1972, and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1975. She worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles, was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and served as associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and its department of women's studies. She is currently the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University where she has taught since 1991. 

Williams is a member of the State Bar of California and the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Williams has served on the advisory council for the Medgar Evers College for Law and Social Justice of the City University of New York, the board of trustees of Wellesley College, and on the board of governors for the Society of American Law Teachers, among others. 

She was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, which she held from June 2000 until June 2005. 

Williams writes a column for The Nation magazine titled "Diary of a Mad Law Professor." Her column for The Nation has recently changed from bi-weekly to monthly. The Mad-Law-Professor (SM) is also the name of a super hero that she created. She has published widely on race, gender, and law. Her books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights, The Rooster's Egg, and Seeing a ColorBlind Future.

In 2007, Tom received the Wiley Branton Award for Lifetime Commitment to Equal Justice, presented by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  He was also recognized as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal in 2008.

On June 19, 2012, Tom Williamson began his term as the 41st president of the D.C. Bar. Tom also chairs Covington & Burling LLP employment practice group and was a member of the firm's management committee from 2005 through 2008. His litigation practice includes employment law, complex litigation, and health and welfare law matters for state governments. Tom recently completed serving as co-lead counsel in defending a nationwide class action alleging race discrimination against a major financial services firm.

Tom has previous experience at the U.S. Department of Labor as the Solicitor of Labor and at the U.S. Department of Energy as the Deputy Inspector General. He later went into the private sector chairing the Texaco Task Force on Equality and Fairness, a court-appointed panel that monitored and evaluated Texaco's nationwide efforts to reform and enhance diversity initiatives and equal opportunity. He later became the president of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University.

Tom graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University receiving his B.A. as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and all-Ivy & All-East Defensive Back. Following Harvard Tom went on to the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Tom obtained his J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Kimiko Margaret Matsuda-Lawrence is named for beautiful brown-skinned fiercely daring women, comes from plantations on both sides, comes from struggle, comes from resistance, comes from black is beautiful, comes from freedom-fighters, ancestors who make her brave. Also from Washington DC, and Honolulu, Hawai'i, she is a proud product of DC public schools and the University Laboratory School. A scholar in African American Studies and History & Literature and proud member of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, Kimiko wrote and directed her first play, I, Too, Am Harvard, this past spring.

Brandon Terry, is a Junior Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University. He will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University in July 2015. Originally from the Baltimore area, Brandon earned a PhD with distinction in Political Science and African American Studies from Yale University, after receiving an AB in Government and African and African American Studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and an MSc in Political Theory Research as the Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. A former Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Terry's broader academic interests include African-American intellectual history and political thought, continental philosophy, contemporary political theory, aesthetics, US history and American politics, hip-hop and black youth culture, and issues of poverty, crime, and incarceration. He is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled, The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement, about the place of the civil rights movement in the historical imagination of political philosophy.

Sarah Curtis Henry is Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations and Education in the U.S. for Guerlain, Inc., a Parisian luxury beauty brand founded in 1828.  Guerlain is a LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) brand. In this role she leads ongoing brand strategy development, national and trade marketing initiatives across all categories including Skincare, Fragrance and Makeup, media relations and education programming for Guerlain selling staff across all national retail distribution points. Sarah is also responsible for advising the leadership team in Paris on U.S. business dynamics, market trends, and demographics. Prior to Guerlain, Sarah spent four years at Estee Lauder Companies with a focus on global marketing, most recently as Executive Director, Global Skincare Marketing at Clinique with responsibility for the Moisture Surge, Superdefense, Repairwear, BB and CC Cream, and All About Eyes franchises. Before joining Clinique Sarah held Executive Director and Director, Global Marketing roles on the Estee Lauder brand on the Makeup category, leading key launches within the Double Wear, Sumptuous, and Pure Color franchises. Prior to Estee Lauder, Sarah held marketing positions at L'Oreal USA on the L'Oreal Paris Skincare and Softsheen-Carson brands, spearheading initiatives on the Revitalift Skincare and Optimum brands. She began her professional career at JPMorgan Private Bank as an analyst and ended her six year tenure there as Vice President, Marketing and Sales for the Multi-Manager Investment Advisory Group prior to attending business school. Sarah holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College with a concentration in Economics. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in Manhattan with her husband, Robert L. Henry '90, JD-MBA'97. Sarah is a New York Cares volunteer, member of Harvard and Spelman Alumni groups, and a member of the March of Dimes Spirit of Beauty Committee. She enjoys mentorship, exploring new cities and countries, the arts, scuba diving, and spending time with friends and family.

Tiffany Burns is an Associate Principal in the Atlanta office of McKinsey and Company. She advises retail and consumer companies across a number of  topics with a focus in design-to-value - aligning product attributes to consumer preferences. Outside of her professional capacity, Tiffany is actively involved in the community serving on the board of the Kimberly D. Burton foundation which she founded and the Rising Seniors leadership program focused on developing student athletes. Tiffany has always had a passion for technology from her experience as an engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During her time at Harvard, Tiffany co-founded Mysensay, a social media platform focused on connecting undergraduate talent and corporate organizations,  Tiffany received a JD and MBA from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School in 2010.

Heather Johnston (AB 1986) is the Senior Manager of Communications and Alumni Affairs at the International Culinary Center, founded as The French Culinary Institute in New York City. After graduating from Harvard in 1986, she co-wrote and co-directed three narrative features with husband, Gordon Eriksen (AB 1988).  Their films screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, San Sebastian and Berlin. In 1997, she earned her Grand Diplôme in Culinary Arts from ICC. Prior to her current position, she worked as a food writer and recipe developer and enjoyed a long relationship with Essence Magazine. In 2006, she launched a food and wine video blog, www.sogood.tv, where she is a YouTube content partner with over 2 million views. In addition, she serves on the HBAS National Steering Committee and the  Harvard Alumni Association where she co-chaired the Class of 1986’s 25th Reunion and HBAW 2009. She currently sits as VP on the Parents Association at The Beacon School in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two teenaged daughters, Erika and Margo Johnston.

Adrienne Kelly-Lumpkin worked for Hewlett Packard Company in multiple marketing capacities and management for 10 years after graduating from Harvard Business School.  In 1993, she co-founded Alternate Access, Inc. in Raleigh NC.

Alternate Access®, a telecommunications company provides hosted Voice over IP phone systems to businesses primarily in the Southeast, enabling companies to increase operation efficiencies while lowering cost.  Adrienne served as president with responsibility for marketing, finance and human resources for the business until late 2013 when she began transitioning out of the company to follow her passion for public education.

Alternate Access has been recognized regionally with four Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle awards, three North Carolina Tech 50 awards, and as an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.  
Today, Adrienne plays a background role in financial management for Alternate Access while working full-time as Chief Operating Officer of Communities in Schools of Wake County, a non-profit organization whose mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay school and achieve in life.  Adrienne has responsibility for Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources and Administration for the organization.  She is thrilled to be working for an organization that provides academic support and extended services to many thousands of students, K-12, each year in Wake County, NC.

Professionally, Adrienne has been an active member and sponsor of Greater Raleigh National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) for over 15 years.  She served on the programs, education, communication and public policy committees in past years, as chapter President 2004-2005, and on the national nominating committee in 2006.  Adrienne was recognized by NAWBO as Public Policy Advocate of the Year in both 2011 and 2013, and Woman Business Owner of the Year in 2007.  Other recognitions include: The National Black MBA Association Raleigh-Durham Chapter MBA of the Year (’94 and ’97), Triangle Business Journal Women in Business (’98), NBMBAA H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award of Relevance (’99), Business Leader Impact 20 (’99) and Impact 100 (‘01), Enterprising Women of the Year finalist (’03), Business Leader Woman Extraordinaire (’03), Wesleyan University Distinguished Alumna (’04), YWCA Academy of Women Inductee (’05), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Nominee (’07).

Adrienne’s passions include the Arts and Education.  She currently serves on the board of United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County and chaired their signature fundraiser, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, in 2013.  She previously served on the board of Raleigh Little Theatre and was recently appointed by Raleigh City Council to the Raleigh Arts Plan Steering Committee, a diverse group of community leaders charged as advisors and advocates in the development of a community cultural master plan to be executed over the next decade.  Adrienne is a volunteer contributor to NBC Universal’s Parent Toolkit, editing content and submitting articles that support parents and teachers of growing children. http://www.parenttoolkit.com/

She has served as a Wake County School Board Advisory Chair, a Board Advisory Representative for Wiley International Elementary and PTA president of William G. Enloe High School.  She is a member of Public Schools First NC and has been an outspoken parent and citizen for diversity, equity and fairness for students and teachers in public schools.  Adrienne served as the honorary chair of the YWCA Academy of Women 2011 fundraiser and volunteered with the YWCA’s Wake Help Initiative assisting parents in advocating for their children within the Wake County school system.

Adrienne has been actively involved in politics local, state and national volunteering in GOTV efforts, working behind the scenes for candidates and participating in Moral Monday protests in North Carolina.  She is a 2010 graduate of the NC Women in Public Service program that trains women to run for office and work on candidates’ campaigns.  She recently joined the board of the Women’s Forum of NC (womensforumnc.org) and is an active member of Politica NC, a community of progressive women activists engaged in year-round voter education and advocacy.

Adrienne graduated cum laude from Wesleyan University and earned her MBA at Harvard University.  She and her husband reside in Raleigh, NC and are the proud parents of three daughters--ages 34, 23, and 22, and a 12 year old son.   

Morgan Radford is an anchor for Al Jazeera America.  Hosting a morning show from 7:30 – 9am EST, Morgan covers the latest in international and domestic news, incorporating live guests and correspondents from around the world.  As part of Al Jazeera’s inaugural team of anchors, Morgan has covered some of the biggest stories of the year, including the Washington Navy Yard shooter, the deadly Metro-North Train Crash, and the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, where she traveled to South Africa to interview the Mandela family, former apartheid leader Pik Botha and former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

Previously, Morgan worked for ABC News, where she hosted a daily program for ABC News Now, the 24-hour subscription channel at ABC’s headquarters in New York.  During her time with ABC, Morgan covered the 2012 Presidential election, the Boston Bombings and the election of Pope Francis among other national and international headlines.

Originally from Greensboro, NC, Morgan received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where she spent time studying at the University of Havana in Havana, Cuba.  She later received a Fulbright Fellowship from the United States State Department to spend one year teaching in South Africa.  Upon completing her Fulbright, Morgan received her Master’s Degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.  Morgan speaks both Spanish and French.

Chris-Tia Donaldson had searched for years for natural hair products that worked on her kinky tresses, but was often disappointed by the number of products that failed to deliver on their promises.  The Harvard graduate and corporate lawyer leveraged her strong research background and passion for hair and all things natural to create Thank God It's Natural, a line of natural hair care products designed to give women with kinks, curls, and waves, softer, moisturized and more manageable tress. Due to growing demand and popularity, the company has also recently launched a line of skin care products, specifically focused on eczema and dry skin.  Under Chris-Tia’s leadership, the company plans to expand into healthy snacks, cookbooks, supplements, and fitness apparel in the near future.

Chris-Tia has been featured in major media publications such as USA  Today, Marie Claire, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Heart & Soul, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit News, Boston Bay State Banner, as well, as many other outlets throughout the country. She also has appeared as a guest on ABCNews, Fox News and WGN local affiliates, as an expert on African American women, beauty issues, self-esteem, healthy living and sustainable values.  Her book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair is a #1 Amazon bestseller, and was hailed the “Natural Hair Bible” by Essence Magazine. For more information about Chris-Tia, visit her website at www.thankgodimnatural or follow her on Instagram (@tginatural).

Nnamdi Okike is a venture capital investor with extensive experience investing in Internet and software companies. He is the founder of 645 Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in New York. 645 Ventures invests in B2B and B2C software and Internet companies, including SaaS, application software, e-commerce, and online marketplaces. 645 Ventures’ portfolio includes companies such as Keaton Row, Poshly, Rifiniti, and Trendalytics.

Nnamdi was previously a Principal at Insight Venture Partners, a leading $7 billion software and Internet fund, where he was involved with over fifteen venture investments. His investments included Folhamatic (acquired by Sage for $300m), Astaro (acquired by Sophos), DivX (IPO), Hitwise (acquired by Experian for $240m), Mimecast, Photobox and Privalia. Nnamdi served on the boards of directors of Folhamatic, Kabum, and CSSN, and was a board observer to Privalia, Photobox, Astaro, and Bionexo.

Nnamdi previously worked in business development and sales for Verne Global and as a venture capital investor for Kayne Anderson Private Investors. He began his career as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.  

Nnamdi received his BA, JD and MBA from Harvard University.

Kofi is the CEO of Admit Advantage, a leading educational product and services company assisting global applicants to post-secondary schools.  Kofi is responsible for setting corporate strategic direction, overseeing product development, and building alliances.  

Prior to Admit Advantage, Kofi helped found a successful European based travel company and led the exit of an educational software company servicing universities and corporations.  He began his career at Accenture in the telecom space and started his entrepreneurial in a sports-oriented startup.  

Kofi serves on the board of Beginning with Children Charter School in NYC.  He is a member of 100 Black Men, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  He serves as a member of the Harvard Club of NYC outreach committee and was a former VP for the Wharton Club of NY.  

Kofi earned an AB degree from Harvard College in Biology where he was a NASA Scholar, an M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an MBA from The Wharton School where he was a Joseph Wharton Fellow.  

He lives in New York City with his wife and young son.

James H. Lowry, President of his own firm James H. Lowry & Associates (JHLA) and Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group, is a nationally recognized workforce and supplier diversity expert and pioneer. Previously a Senior Vice President at BCG and Global Diversity Director, Jim led the firm’s workforce diversity, ethnic marketing and minority business development consulting practice.  Prior to joining BCG, Lowry led his own firm, which was established in 1975.  In 1978, JHLA prepared the first major study on minority business enterprise development for The Department of Commerce entitled, New Strategy for Minority Business.  In 2005, Lowry authored a new study entitled Realizing the New Agenda for Minority Business Development sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, in conjunction with the Billion Dollar Roundtable.  In 2009, Lowry authored a study on Capital Formation for the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC).

Over the years, Lowry has designed and implemented state of the art supplier diversity programs in the public sector for the cities of Louisville, Atlanta, and Chicago; and at the Federal level, for the Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor, and Department of Defense; within the private sector, for Burger King, AT&T, American Express, Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Toyota and Ford Motor Company.

Lowry began his career in various positions with the U.S. Peace Corps including Associate Director in Lima, Peru.  He later was Assistant to the President of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation before becoming the first African American at McKinsey & Company.  He rose to Senior Associate for McKinsey & Company, serving in London, New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.  His educational background includes an undergraduate degree in political science from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in public international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.  He attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School and was elected president of his class.

Lowry is the Academic Advisor for the Kellogg Advanced Management Education Program and Adjunct Professor at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.  He, also, serves on Kellogg’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Howard University School of Business and serves as Chairman of the Howard University Entrepreneurship Center.    He, also, chairs the RLJ Equity Fund and is a member of the Toyota Diversity Advisory Board.  Lowry is the former Chairman of the Chicago Public Library Board and Durban, South Africa/Chicago Sister Cities Committee, and former member of the Kraft Multicultural Council, the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations and Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.  He co-hosted the groundbreaking television shows Inside Bedford Stuyvesant in 1966 and MBR: THE MINORITY BUSINESS REPORT in 1985.

In 2011, he received the Abe Venable Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Department of Commerce. In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council. He was awarded an honorary Doctors of Laws degree in 2008 from his alma mater, Grinnell College. He was honored in the inaugural class of the Minority Business Enterprise Hall of Fame in 2005.

James H. Lowry, President of his own firm James H. Lowry & Associates (JHLA) and Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group, is a nationally recognized workforce and supplier diversity expert and pioneer. He encapsulates his more than 40 years of experience in the field of minority business development in his book, Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream, co-authored with Leonard Greenhalgh of Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In 1978, Lowry prepared the first major study on Minority Business Enterprise Development for The Department of Commerce entitled, New Strategy for Minority Business, which led to the creation of the Minority Business Development Agency. Lowry has designed many supplier diversity programs for public and private sector clients including the City of Chicago, Department of Defense, AT&T, Frito-Lay, and Ford Motor Company. In 2005, Lowry authored a new study entitled Realizing the New Agenda for Minority Business Development sponsored by the Kauffman foundation, in conjunction with the Billion Dollar Roundtable.  

Lowry serves as an Adjunct Professor and Academic Advisor at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He chairs the RLJ Equity Fund’s Executive Network and is a Member of the Toyota Diversity Advisory Board. He is also on the Board of Directors of Howard University, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and Grinnell College. Lowry is the former Chairman of the Chicago Public Library Board and Durban, South Africa/Chicago Sister Cities Committee, and former member of the Kraft Multicultural Council, the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations and Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

His educational background includes an undergraduate degree in political science from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in public international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.  He attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School and was elected president of his class. His work has earned him multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards and honorary degrees.

Claire Siobhan Sulmers (AB '03) is a writer and editor based in New York City. Her editorial work, which focuses on fashion, beauty, and health, has appeared in Real Simple, Newsweek, New York, and Essence magazines and on the websites of Paris and Italian Vogue. 

In August 2006, Claire founded the blog The Fashion Bomb, a daily destination for the multicultural fashionista. From celebrity style to fashion news, trend reports to street style, the blog delivers fresh, engaging content from an informed point of view. With 2.4 million monthly visitors, The Fashion Bomb made Ebony Magazine's 2011 Power 100 List, while Claire was named Black Blogger of the Month by Black Enterprise, and was dubbed Blogger of the Moment by Teen Vogue. The Fashion Bomb won Judges Vote for Best Fashion & Style Blog in the 2009 Black Weblog Awards and made the list for Signature 9's 99 Most Influential Style Blogs. In June 2012, Claire won Blogger of the Year in the 2012 Style Blogger of Color Awards. Well respected in the industry, The Fashion Bomb has been referenced in New York Magazine, featured in Glamour, and quoted in Time. Claire is a regular contributor to InStyle.com and Vogue.it.  

Named "The Woman Reinventing the Black Hair Industry" by Elle Magazine, one of the "Most Stylish Women in Tech" by Lucky Magazine, and "Black, Fresh, and Twenty Something by Ebony Magazine, Nicole Sanchez is on a mission to turn influencers into owners. Through her VC backed startup VIXXENN, Nicole is empowering hairstylists to sell hair products and extensions to their clients without carrying inventory. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Nicole is a fellow in the Grand Central Tech Accelerator in NY and has been called one of the "Top Female Entrepreneurs You Should Know" by Tech Cocktail.

Kimberly Foster is the Founder and Editor of For Harriet. For Harriet is digital community for women of African ancestry that encourages women, through storytelling an journalism, to engage in candid, revelatory dialogue about the beauty and complexity of Black womanhood. Since its launch in 2010, For Harriet has expanded from a single blog to a community that reaches more than a million readers each month. For Harriet has been spotlighted by a number of platforms including the New York Times, Ebony.com, and NPR, and was named among the "15 Most Share-Worthy Black Blogs and Sites of 2014" by News One. Kimberly received her bachelor's degree in African American Studies.

Thomas Allen Harris, an award-winning Director, is the President of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences including feature length films, performances and multimedia productions.

Chimpanzee’s innovative and acclaimed films - Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014), Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela (2005), E Minha Cara/That’s My Face (2001), VINTAGE – Families of Value (1995), - have received critical acclaim at international film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, Frameline, FESPACO, Outfest, and Sithengi/Cape Town and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, as well as CBC, Swedish broadcasting Network and New Zealand Television. Reviews of Harris’ work have appeared in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Jay Z’s Life and Times, Variety The Advocate, among others. His latest film will start its theatrical run at Film Forum in New York City, August 27th.

Harris has received numerous awards including an Africa Movie Academy Award, Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award, Tribeca All Access Nelson Mandela Award, United States Artist Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Fellowship, as well as CPB/PBS and Sundance Directors Fellowships.

Harris’s work has been supported by Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, The Fledgling Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Time Inc. and the Banff Centre.

His performance-based videos have been featured at prestigious museums including: the MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia, the Long Beach Museum of Art and London Institute of the Arts.
In 2009 Harris launched Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, an innovative transmedia project that combines film, photography, social media and oral histories in a live touring event. Digital Diaspora has held 18 Roadshows in 9-cities, with over 800 participants, 3,000 live audience participants and received over 40,000 “Likes” and in excess of 10 million media impressions.

A graduate of Harvard College, Harris began his career producing for public television, where he was nominated for two Emmy Awards. Harris has taught and lectured widely on film and multimedia and has served on a number of juries, including: Tribeca Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, POV American Documentary, and Full Frame. 

Alan Jenkins is Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda, a communications, research, and policy organization dedicated to building the national will to expand opportunity in America. Before joining The Opportunity Agenda, Alan was Director of Human Rights at the Ford Foundation, managing grantmaking in the United States and eleven overseas regions. His prior positions include Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the United States government in constitutional and other  litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Associate Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he defended the rights of low-income communities facing exploitation and discrimination.

Alan's other positions have included Assistant Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, Law Clerk to  Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Carter, and Coordinator of the Access to Justice Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a frequent commentator in broadcast and print media, including MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

Alan serves on the Board of Trustees of New York Public Radio, on the Board of Governors of the New School for Public Engagement, and as an Advisor to the JBP Foundation. He is a Founding Co-Chair of the American Constitution Society's Project on the Constitution in the Twenty-First Century. Alan holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard College.

Franklin Leonard is an American film executive best known for founding The Black List, a yearly publication featuring Hollywood's most popular unproduced screenplays. After working as a development executive for Overbrook Entertainment and Universal Pictures, Leonard is currently an adviser to BoomGen Studios and Plympton.

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2000, Leonard began his career as the Communications Director for John Cranley's campaign for the United States House of Representatives in Ohio's first district. He went on to work as a columnist for the Trinidad Guardian, an analyst for McKinsey & Company, and an assistant for Creative Artists Agency.

Beginning in 2004, Leonard worked as a development executive for John Goldwyn Productions, Appian Way Productions, and Mirage Entertainment. While working at Appian Way in 2005, he came up with the concept behind "The Black List," forwarding a spreadsheet to one hundred fellow producers to collect the names of well-known but unproduced screenplays. After becoming an instant success, The Black List was adapted into a website and has provided over two hundred screenplays which later became feature films. The vast majority of The Black List scripts however were already purchased or commissioned by large studios, prior to being placed on The Black List.

Leonard went on to become one of the youngest executives at Universal Pictures, serving as Director of Development and Production. Two years later, he was Vice President of Creative Affairs at Will Smith's production company, Overbrook Entertainment. Leonard shared the title with Smith's brother-in-law Caleeb Pinkett, and later left the company after two years.

Besides his full-time work on The Black List, Leonard is currently an adviser to Plympton, a literary studio that specializes in serialized fiction, and BoomGen Studios, where he assisted in developing the transmedia graphic novel 1001. He is also a Judge on the Afrinolly Short Film Competition; Africa's most prestigious Short Film Competition with a $25,000 first place cash prize to winners.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Zola Mashariki has work at Fox Searchlight Pictures in Los Angeles for 14 years and is currently their Senior Vice President of Production.  She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School and a former corporate attorney at Proska

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