Vernon E. Jordan Jr. is Senior Managing Director at Lazard Ltd. He has also practiced general, corporate, legislative and international law at Akin Gump since 1982. Prior to Akin Gump, Mr. Jordan served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; assistant to the executive director of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and as an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia.
Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation; the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa; the Advisory Council on Social Security; the Presidential Clemency Board; the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission; the National Advisory Committee on Selective Service; and the Council of the White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights.” Mr. Jordan served as the chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team in 1992.
Mr. Jordan’s corporate and other directorships include: American Express Company (Senior Advisor); Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Howard University (Trustee); Lazard Ltd; Xerox Corporation (Senior Advisor); International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold.
Mr. Jordan has received numerous honorary degrees and awards in recognition of his accomplishments. In 2001 he was the recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the Joel E. Spingarn Medal, awarded for distinguished achievement by black Americans. In addition, he has authored a weekly newspaper column that appeared in over 300 newspapers, has broadcast commentaries on current issues for the Westinghouse Broadcast Network and has been a frequent guest on major national television broadcasts, including Meet the Press, Issues & Answers and Face the Nation.
A graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School, Mr. Jordan holds honorary degrees from more than 50 colleges and universities in America. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and the bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Georgia and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Jordan is co-chair of the Ad Council’s Advisory Committee on Public Issues. He is the author ofVernon Can Read! A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2001) and Make it Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out (Public Affairs, 2008).