Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, the nation’s second-largest philanthropy, and for two decades has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. He led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and chairs the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance.
Prior to joining Ford, he was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation where he managed the rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. In the 1990s, as COO of Harlem’s largest community development organization, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Darren oversaw a comprehensive revitalization program resulting in over 1,000 new units of housing, Harlem’s first commercial development in 20 years and New York’s first public school built and managed by a community organization. He had a decade-long career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS. He serves as a trustee of Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, the High Line, the Arcus Foundation, and PepsiCo.
Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor given by his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. In 2016, Time magazine named him to its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of 10 honorary degrees.