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A Visionary and National Leader with a Global Impact
David N. Dinkins, Professor
David N. Dinkins, the former 106th Mayor of New York City is one of the most respected leaders who continues to speak and advocate for equality, children, homelessness, economic recovery and many other important issues. His journey to the Mayor’s office and beyond is a result of consistent persistence and aiming unswervingly for his goals.
A Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA), Mr. Dinkins serves on its Advisory Board and hosts the Annual Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum.
The Leadership & Public Policy Forum has become a popular and well-anticipated forum and platform where the nation’s political, business, and community leaders and others come together to converse and develop ideas about serious issues that impact Urban America, as well as global communities.
Mr. Dinkins’ long list of notable accomplishments includes drastically reducing the crime rate in New York City through the Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids program and establishing Beacon community centers that offer New Yorkers an alternative to criminal activity. These centers provide residents with various social services to enable them to engage in positive activities such as job training, thereby assisting them in leading productive lives.
A man of integrity, honor and compassion, Mr. Dinkins epitomizes what it means to be an agent of change for all people. As a distinguished professor, he is using his incredible political experience to continue to shed light on important issues that impact people from all socio-economic backgrounds.
As a young lad in the 1940s at the age of 17, David Dinkins was determined to not only survive but to live a life of excellence, and he believed that he could do that by joining the Marine Corps. During that time, there were very few Blacks who served in the Marines. It was nearly impossible for Blacks to join that branch of the military, but after several attempts he succeeded and became one of the few Montford Point Marines, the Nation’s first group of Black Marines who serve his country with honor. It has been that kind of determination to succeed year after year that has enabled him to have such an exceptional impact on the people of New York City and beyond. In 2013, Mr. Dinkins and a few of his comrades, received the well-deserved Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for their service.
As the first and only African American to serve as Mayor of New York City, Mr. Dinkins left a mark of excellence, and his service as Mayor continues to be reflected in may ways across communities in the city.
His success is derived from impeccable leadership, intelligence, determination, discipline, compassion for mankind and the wonderful team of people who helped him achieve extraordinary success during his political career, while also supporting him during the incredible challenges he faced.
The 17th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum was held on April 25, 2014. View the entire forum here: https://sipa.columbia.edu/dinkins-forum/watch.