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Press Release  
Release Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:06 PM
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
202.238.2631    
rachel.mann@howard.edu
     
http://www.howard.edu/newsroom/
     

Former U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek Named Visiting Fellow at Howard University Ronald W. Walters Center

 
Kendrick B. Meek

WASHINGTON (August 29, 2014) – The Howard University Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center recently announced Kendrick B. Meek, a former member of the U.S House of Representatives and former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, as the institute’s visiting fellow for 2014. As a member of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Meek was instrumental in pioneering legislation creating new trade incentives for Haiti. He has been both a staunch supporter of the Haitian Diaspora and a leader on issues challenging the country.

“Dr. Walters was a great advisor to me and many other elected officials throughout out our great country as a public policy and political thinker,” Meek said. “ I am very proud to have been selected to serve as a Fellow in the Ronald Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center.”

As a visiting fellow, elected or appointed officials are chosen to share their expertise with the Walters Center and the greater campus community. Meek will facilitate lectures on topics that will include both foreign and domestic policy. He will also contribute to informational sessions geared toward students.

“Historically, Howard University has been at the forefront of advocacy and political discourse,” Meek said. “No other HBCU can celebrate or even have access to what Howard students have access to.” He added, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with a student body that’s politically motivated. To share my experiences and to allow other members of Congress to interface with the student body is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Meek’s political involvement began at the age of 12, as he helped his mother, former Congresswoman Carrie Meek, run for state legislature. He continued to hone his political leadership skills at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where he was the founder and president of the university’s Democratic Club and later statewide president of the Young College Democrats.

After graduating in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Meek began his career as a patrol trooper with Florida Highway Patrol. He was later promoted to captain and assigned to the security detail of Democratic Lieutenant Governor Buddy McKay. However, he was determined that writing laws – instead of enforcing them – would be where he could have his greatest impact. Meek resigned from the Florida Highway Patrol in 1994, and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives. After winning, Meek served in the Florida House from 1995 to 1998 and the Florida Senate from 1999 to 2002.                                         

Meek accomplished a great deal as state legislator. In 2000, he and another state legislator staged a sit-in in the office of Governor Jeb Bush around the issue of “One Florida,” a plan to end official race/gender preferences in state government. When the Florida legislature failed to act on overcrowded classrooms in the Pre K-12 education system in Florida. Meek, also lead a statewide petition to drive and successful Florida constitutional amendment for smaller class sizes in the state which was approved by Florida voters.

In 2003, Meek was elected to represent the 17th, U.S. Congressional District of Florida, and became the first son to succeed his mother in Congress. During his tenure, Meek was an early member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, a precursor to the Homeland Security Committee where he also served. He was an active member of the House Armed Services Committee and by appointment of the Speaker was one of 12 officials tapped to serve on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Meek also was a member of the House Steering and Policy Committee helping to define the legislative policy and messaging priorities of the Democratic Caucus. He served until 2010 and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a Special Representative to the United Nations in 2011.

As a visiting fellow at the Ronald Walters Center, Meek will meet with members of Congress to promote the Walters Center and engagement between Howard University and members of Congress on policy matters.

The Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center was established by Howard University to serve as a focal point for research, publications, service, policy discussions and leadership development activities in areas involving the engagement of African Americans in the U.S. political process and in U.S. national and foreign policy. The Walters Center is an interdisciplinary center that will preserve the legacy of Dr. Ronald Walters, a scholar-activist who conducted research, served as a mentor to students and political leaders, provided strategic direction and thinking in the political and civic arenas, was a prolific writer and served as a political commentator. It is envisioned that the Walters center will become the premier academic center for research and publications on policy issues that directly impact the global black community.

 

Contributing Writer- Chablis Davis / RSM

ABOUT HOWARD

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.


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