Colin L. Powell
Retired Four-Star General, 65th United States Secretary of State & New York Times Bestselling Author
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. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937…
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.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He was educated in the New York City public schools and after graduating from Morris High School attended the City College of New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. It was not until he joined the Army ROTC program at CCNY that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of Four-Star General.
From 1987-1989, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989-1993 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position but also was the first African American to do so. During his time as chairman, he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th secretary of State and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As secretary of State, he led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts. He used the power of diplomacy to build trust, forge alliances and then help transform these unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures have the potential to prosper. He also worked at the forefront of American efforts to advance economic and social development worldwide.
Among the many U.S. Military awards and decorations Powell has received are the “Defense Distinguished Service Medal” (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the “Army Distinguished Service Medal” (with Oak Leaf Cluster), “Defense Superior Service Medal”, “Legion of Merit” (with Oak Leaf Cluster), “Soldier’s Medal”, “Bronze Star Medal” and the “Purple Heart”. His civil awards include two “Presidential Medals of Freedom”, the “President’s Citizens Medal”, the “Congressional Gold Medal” and the “Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal”. In addition, he has also received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a “French Legion of Honor” and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
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 May of 2013 and stands alongside CCNY’s other premiere 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 have the fundamental resources they need to succeed.
Powell is a strategic adviser at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He serves on the board of directors of Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company that provides unique on-site power generation systems utilizing an innovative new fuel cell technology. In March of 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; and is also chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders. He is a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the board of the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.
His autobiography, My American Journey, was a best seller and has been published in more than a dozen different languages. Powell’s second book, It Worked for Me (May, 2012), was an instant New York Times best seller and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.
Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. They live in McLean, Virginia and have three children and four grandchildren.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
One of the 21st century’s most fervent purveyors of democratic values, General Colin Powell understands the power of diplomacy and the universal human ideal of democracy to build trust and transform once-unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures prosper. As well, he understands that the power of persuasion, reason and building trust are immeasurably effective in getting governments to cooperate for the overall common good of their people and the rest of the world. In a compelling presentation filled with humor and anecdotes from years of service at the highest levels of international affairs, Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, describes the delicate process of forging alliances, bringing people and countries together and promoting universal human ideals of democracy and peace around the world.
Our Youth Must Be Ready to Lead: Colin Powell
1 HOUR OR LESS