Wayne State University

Aim Higher

2013 MLK Key Note Speaker - Harold Ford, Jr.

Harold Ford, Jr.
Former U.S. Representative & NBC News Analyst

Harold Ford, Jr. served Tennessee in the United States Congress for 10 years. Described by President Bill Clinton as “the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century,” Ford is now a Managing Director and Senior Client Relationship Manager at Morgan Stanley, a news analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and a Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

During his five terms in the Congress, Ford’s focus was results. He served on both the Financial Services and Budget Committees and was an active member of the House Blue Dog coalition, where he worked passionately to balance the budget and promote free enterprise.

Ford’s highly anticipated book, More Davids Than Goliaths (Crown 2010), became an instant New York Times bestseller. Reflecting on what he’s learned from his extended political family, the slings and arrows of the campaign trail, and those across our nation who inspire him, More Davids Than Goliaths explains Ford’s conviction that “at its best, leadership in government can solve, inspire, and heal.” Along the way, Ford reminds us that in America there are more Davids than Goliaths, more solutions than problems, more that unites us than divides us.

Formerly the Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Ford is active with several nonprofits and foundations. He serves as an overseer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and is a member of the Pentagon’s Transformation Advisory Group (TAG), Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Posse Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the boards of the Lincoln Center, America’s Promise and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Ford is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. in American History, and a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

At the podium, Ford’s charisma and razorsharp wit takes audiences right into the heart of Washington’s inner sanctum, shedding a light on the complexities of the government. His direct link to the White House combined with his non-partisan conjecture provide a bona-fide finger on the pulse of Washington DC and actionable solutions to the challenges we face as a nation.

He discusses ways to grow America’s economy, strengthen our moral stature and standing in the world, make America safer and stronger through a revolution in clean energy technologies, and modernize our military to better be able to fight the enemies of democracy and tolerance around the world. Ford’s confidence in American ingenuity to overcome any foe bolsters his belief that America’s best days are in front of us.

Ford lives and works in New York City with his wife.