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Ford Foundation President, Darren Walker on Paradigm Shift within Corporate America Following the Death of George Floyd

6 August, 2020

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, talks about the responsibility of corporations today to foster diversity and inclusion. Walker reinforces the critical need for African American representation within the c-suite and on company boards to truly transform Corporate America.


In a conversation with Paul Washington, Executive Director of the ESG Center at The Conference Board, Walker states that George Floyd’s murder has served as a tipping point for change. His death, along with several other African Americans, has fundamentally shifted the way the general public, executives and their corporations are thinking about racism.  


“I was on an earnings call of a Fortune 500 company where the CEO opened the call talking about systematic racism both in the United States and the challenges within his company,” said Walker. “And there were questions from the analysts covering the company about ‘what are you doing about diversity in your company’? I have never been on an earnings call and had questions come into the CEO about diversity and race…And I think we will see…as investors like Black Rock step forward and speak out about these issues…and other asset managers…I think we will see fundamental shifts in the behavior of corporate America.”


The CEO Forum series features CEOs from across American industry who focus on actionable insights to address underlying challenges of economic opportunity, childhood education, health care, workforce skills development, workplace equality and corporate governance. 


Paul Washington

Paul Washington
Executive Director, ESG Center
The Conference Board

Paul Washington joined The Conference Board in June 2019 as Executive Director of the ESG Center, a non-profit think tank that focuses on corporate governance, sustainability, and corporate citizenship and philanthropy. 

His career has spanned the private, governmental, academic, and...Full Bio

Darren Walker

Darren Walker

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion international social justice philanthropy. He is a member of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagining New York Commission and co-chair of NYC Census 2020. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detr...Full Bio








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