President David A. Thomas and 13 Alumni Among the Most Influential Black Corporate DirectorsNovember 2, 2021
If you need proof that Morehouse prepares Black men for global leadership, just ask the editors of Savoy magazine, who this week named 13 alumni and President David A. Thomas, Ph.D. to its listing of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors. The "elite" listing of Black professionals who serve as governing authorities for some of the most powerful international corporations reflects a dramatic rise in Black board membership appointments over the past year— a 32% gain. Among other board roles, President Thomas serves as a director on the boards of DTE Energy and Vanguard. Morehouse alumni are helping to lead Fortune 500 companies like ADM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Newell Brands, and Northwestern Mutual, as well as many other organizations.
Savoy is a quarterly, national magazine covering the power, substance, and style of African American lifestyle.
"These innovative trailblazers have led efforts to foster growth for some of the country's highest-performing companies throughout and beyond the US market," said L.P. Green, II, CEO, and publisher of Savoy.
Morehouse Men, including two former cabinet secretaries, sit on numerous corporate boards where they are influencing an array of industries:
- Jason E. Brown '01 sits on the board of TIAA and Discovery Health Partners. He is also chief executive officer of Discovery Health Partners.
- Garry Capers '98 is a board director for OneSpan, a company specializing in digital identity and anti-fraud solutions. He is also the division president, Cloud Solutions at Deluxe Corporation. He studied business administration at Morehouse.
- Ted Colbert '96 serves on the corporate board of ADM, along with the nonprofit board for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He is the executive vice president of the Boeing Company and president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, where he is responsible for leading aerospace services development and delivery models for global customers. He completed the dual degree engineering program at Morehouse and Georgia Tech with degrees in industrial and systems engineering and interdisciplinary science.
- Robert C. Davidson '67 serves on the board of Jacob Engineering Company. A former Morehouse College board chair, he founded and served as chairman and CEO of Surface Protection Industries.
- Reginald E. Davis '84 serves on the board of Lincoln Financial Group. He is also executive vice president and president of banking at Flagstar Bank. He studied business administration at Morehouse.
- Moses William Howard '68 is on the board of the New Jersey Resources Corporation. He is the former pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and the former president of the New York Theological Seminary. He has also served as the president of the National Council of Churches and president of the American Committee on Africa.
- Arthur E. Johnson '68 serves on the board of consulting powerhouse Booz Allen Hamilton. He is also the senior vice president for corporate strategic development at Lockheed Martin. In addition, he has served as president and CEO of IBM Federal Systems and was named one of the "50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology" by Blackmoney.com and S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine. He has also served on the Presidential Advisory Council on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
- Jay L. Johnson '98 is a board member of Newell Brands, a conglomerate that manages more than 100 brands including Sharpie, Coleman, Crockpot, Oster, Sunbeam, and Rubbermaid. Johnson also serves as the executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of Lamar Advertising. He studied economics at Morehouse.
- The Honorable Jeh Johnson '79 serves on the boards of the Lockheed Martin aerospace company and United States Steel Corporation. He is the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, the third-largest federal government department. He is now a partner with the international law firm Paul, Weiss. He also served as general counsel of the Department of Defense.
- Archie L. Jones '93 sits on the board of directors for FLEETCOR Technologies, a company that develops payment systems. He is also managing partner of Six Pillars Partners, a private equity firm investing in high-growth companies, and an entrepreneurial management and finance professor at Harvard Business School.
- Dale E. Jones '82 is a board director for the Northwestern Mutual financial services company. He is president and CEO of Diversified Search, the ninth-largest search firm in the U.S. He also serves on the Morehouse Board of Trustees and is a trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary.
- Shaka Rasheed '93 is a member of the board of directors of Colony Capital/DigitalBridge. He serves as managing director and general manager for Capital Markets at Microsoft.
- The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan '54 is a director on the boards of BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Emergent Biosolutions, Henry Schein, and United Therapeutics. The legendary doctor is the former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and was the founding president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
As corporate directors, President Thomas and Morehouse alumni have helped steer the global economy through the pandemic. They have also helped their companies become more culturally adaptable and recruit a more diversified workforce— both of which are critical to success in today's marketplace. While having Black directors is simply the right thing to do because they are highly-skilled leaders with diverse perspectives, it also creates a competitive advantage for companies smart enough to leverage their expertise in innovation and reaching disparate societies. It is a sentiment promoted by the board members themselves— 87% of directors said board diversity enhances board performance and 76% said it enhances company performance, according to PwC's 2019 Annual Corporate Directors Survey. However, with almost half of boardrooms devoid of people of color, there is much more work left to do. Black board directors make up just four percent of the nation's 3,000 largest companies.