Cornell William Brooks is a Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former President of the NAACP.
Cornell William Brooks
As well teaching at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell William Brooks leads as Director of The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the School’s Center for Public Leadership, and serves as Visiting Professor of the Practice of Prophetic Religion and Public Leadership at Harvard Divinity School. Brooks is the former president and CEO of the NAACP, a civil rights attorney, fourth-generation ordained minister, writer, orator, writer, and the executive producer of two films.
Prior to leading the NAACP, Brooks was president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. He also served as senior counsel and acting director of the Office of Communications Business Opportunities at the Federal Communications Commission, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, and a trial attorney at both the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the U.S. Department of Justice. He was also the executive producer of the CNN docuseries The People v. the Klan.
Brooks holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and member of the Yale Law and Policy Review, and a Master of Divinity from Boston University’s School of Theology, where he was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar.