President, Ford Foundation
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, the nation’s second largest philanthropy. For two decades he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, working on an array of social justice issues, including education, human rights, urban development, and free expression. Prior to joining Ford, he was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation. He had a decade long career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS. As COO of Harlem’s leading community development organization, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Walker oversaw development of over 1,000 new units of low-income housing and Harlem’s first commercial development in twenty years, among other achievements. He is a member of the boards of Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, the High Line, and the Arcus Foundation. Walker received the “Distinguished Alumnus Award,” the highest honor given by his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of several honorary degrees.