Commencement Orator

Harold Ford, Jr.
Former U.S. Representative; Chairman, Democratic Leadership Council & 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 Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, a news analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and a visiting Professor at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

During his 5 terms in the Congress, Ford’s focus was results. Having served on both the Financial Services and Budget Committees, his passion for free enterprise and balanced budgets and confidence in American ingenuity to overcome any foe bolsters his belief that America’s best days are in front of us. The challenge and opportunity 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 continues to inspire his work today. He believes that government is most effective when it’s working for the betterment of everyone.

Ford is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he got his B.A . in American history, and the University of Michigan Law School. Ford also serves on the Pentagon’s Transformation Advisory Group (TAG), an assembly of current and former military commanders, political figures, academics and business leaders who advise the Pentagon on how to modernize our armed forces to meet and defeat 21st century threats. Ford is also an overseer on the board at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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