December 9, 2019

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Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy.
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy.
Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, will be the featured speaker at SIPA’s graduation ceremony on May 17, 2020, Dean Merit E. Janow announced today.
 

The Ford Foundation’s mission is to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. The organization makes more than $600 million in grants each year.

“Darren Walker leads one of the world’s most prominent and impactful social justice organizations, and we very much look forward to welcoming him to Columbia in May,” Janow wrote in a letter to the SIPA community.

Before he joined the Ford Foundation, Walker served as vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he oversaw global and domestic programs, including the Rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. He also previously served as chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

In addition to his leadership of the Ford Foundation, he serves on the boards of numerous civic and cultural institutions and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of 13 honorary degrees and university awards.

In making the announcement, Janow thanked SIPA students and faculty for their assistance and input on the selection.