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Democratic Party Leader Harold Ford to Speak at ODU's Annual MLK Lecture Jan. 22

Harold Ford Jr., the man President Bill Clinton once described as "the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century," will deliver Old Dominion University's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lecture Thursday, Jan. 22.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium.

Ford is visiting professor of public policy at Vanderbilt University, chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and vice chairman of Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc.

He is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, having represented Tennessee's 9th congressional district, centered in Memphis, from 1997 to 2007. During his five terms in Congress, Ford served on both the Financial Services and Budget committees, where he exercised his passion for free enterprise and balanced budgets.

"The challenge and opportunity to grow America's economy, strengthen our moral stature and standing in the world, find ways to free us from our dependence on oil and modernize our military to better be able to fight the enemies of democracy and tolerance around the world continues to inspire his work today," his web site (haroldfordjr.com) notes. "He believes that government is most effective when it is working for the betterment of everyone."

Ford serves on the Pentagon's Transformation Advisory Group, an assembly of current and former military commanders, political figures, academics and business leaders who advise the Pentagon on how to modernize our armed forces to meet and defeat 21st-century threats. Additionally, he is an overseer on the board at the International Rescue Committee and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ford served as political analyst for Fox News, and in 2008 joined NBC, where he analyzed the presidential election on David Gregory's "Race for the White House" (MSNBC). As a Washington insider, Ford was credited with providing unique commentary on the candidates, the issues and how November's results would affect the nation.

Ford received a bachelor's degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

This article was posted on: January 9, 2009

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