General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
For over 50 years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. From 1987 to 1989, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989 to 1993 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and the first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position but was also the first African American to do so. During his time as chairman, he oversaw 28 crises, including the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State, leading the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civic conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo, Liberia, the Balkans, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Powell is the Chair of the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY). The Powell School was inaugurated in May 2013 and stands alongside CCNY’s other premier named schools. He is the founder and chairman emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed. Currently, Powell is a Strategic Advisor at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and serves on the board of directors of Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company. In March 2014, he joined the board of directors of Salesforce.com, the world’s largest provider of cloud-based customer relationship management software. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training, information and business services industries. He is also Chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders. His autobiography, “My American Journey,” was a best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Powell’s second book, “It Worked for Me,” reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career and was an instant best-seller when it was published in May 2012.