The Late Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Founder of the Children's Health Forum, former Executive Director and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
An outstanding leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, who served as Executive Director-CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1977 to 1993, made it his life’s work to achieve a more just society. Earning his law degree in 1948, he participated in restaurant sit-ins in the late 1950s and 1960s, and was a Director of Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
In 1965, Dr. Hooks was the first black appointed judge of a criminal court in Tennessee, and he went on to become the first black Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. In 1997, he inspired the founding of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis, which provides a forum for research, curriculum development, and public outreach programs emphasizing human rights and democracy.
Dr. Hooks received numerous awards, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews' Humanitarian Award and the National Civil Rights Museum's Freedom Award. As the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Civil Rights Museum, Dr. Hooks also served as pastor of Greater Middle Baptist Church for more than 50 years. Dr. Hooks passed away in April 2010.
Dr. Hooks' unwavering support and devotion to the Children's Health Forum remains evident today.
The Late Honorable Jack Kemp, Co-Founder of the Children's Health Forum, former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Member of Congress from New York
Mr. Jack Kemp was a long-time champion of economic development and urban renewal. As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993, he was the first and strongest advocate of using Enterprise Zones to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation in urban America, and of expanding home ownership among the poor through resident management and ownership of public housing. Mr. Kemp was appointed as Secretary of HUD following 18 years representing western New York in the U.S. House of Representatives. He first became a national figure as a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, winning championships in 1964 and 1965, and served as the Vice Presidential nominee on the Republican party’s1996 Presidential ticket. From 1993-2004, he served as co-director of Empower America, and served on the Board of Directors at Howard University and Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Kemp passed away in May 2009.
Mr. Kemp's commitment to public service is still apparent today through his leadership on behalf of the Children's Health Forum.
Members of the Board of Directors
Mr. Kurt L. Schmoke has served as Dean of the Howard University School of Law since January 2003. Previously, Schmoke was Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, from 1987 to 1999, and also served as Maryland State’s Attorney from 1982 to 1987.
During his tenure as Mayor of Baltimore, Dean Schmoke initiated many programs in housing, education, public health and economic development. In 1992, President George Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and in 1994 President Bill Clinton praised his programs to improve public housing and enhance community economic development. Schmoke’s other public service includes his appointment as Assistant Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter.
Mr. Henry Cisneros served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1997. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros was America’s primary federal housing and economic development official. He is credited with initiating a major revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and formulating policies which have contributed to today’s record homeownership rate. Cisneros was previously on the Board of the CHF Action Fund, CHF’s sister organization.
After leaving the government, Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the foremost Spanish-language broadcaster in the country. In 1981, Cisneros became the first Hispanic American Mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio, and served four terms. Mr. Cisneros has served as President of the National League of Cities, chairman of the National Civic League, deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and as a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation. He has hosted a statewide television show in Texas as well as a national Spanish language radio commentary.
He is currently founder and chairman of American City Vista, a homebuilding joint venture he formed in August 2000 that aims to build large, distinctive communities in the central zones of many of the nation’s major metropolitan areas, those areas that have been traditionally overlooked by major homebuilders in the past.
The Honorable Susan Molinari, former Member of Congress from New York
Ms. Susan Molinari is a Senior Principal in the government relations, advocacy and strategy section of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington, D.C. Previously, she served as the Chairman and CEO of the Washington Group and President of Ketchum Public Affairs. Ms. Molinari served as a Member of Congress from 1990 to 1997 and was a member of the Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in Congress. She also served as Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention in San Diego.
Prior to Congress, Ms. Molinari was twice elected to the New York City Council, where she was Minority Leader. In 1997, she left Congress to co-anchor CBS News Saturday Morning. She is the co-author of the book Representative Mom: Balancing Budgets, Bill and Baby in the U.S. Congress. Ms. Molinari was selected as a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1998. She was chosen as Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the year in 1996 and by Time Magazine as one of forty of the nation’s most influential people under age forty in the nation in 1994. In 2003 she was recognized for her efforts to develop a framework to address the national housing crisis, and was named the “Housing Person of the Year” by the National Housing Conference.
Ms. Molinari chairs the Century Council, a national, not-for-profit organization committed to reducing drunk driving and underage drinking. She is a member of several boards including the Toyota North America Diversity Advisory Board and the March of Dimes Advisory Board. Born and raised on Staten Island, Ms. Molinari is a third generation public servant. She was elected to Congress succeeding her father, Guy V. Molinari, who became the Borough President of Staten Island. Ms. Molinari is married to former New York Congressman Bill Paxon.
Booker “B.T.” Jones, Founder, President, and CEO of MINACT, Inc.
Mr. Booker T. Jones is the Founder, President and CEO of MINACT, Inc. He began a career in Job Corps after leaving the Navy in 1966. Jones moved through the Job Corps program from his entry-level position as resident advisor to that of center director, and started his own company, MINACT, Inc. in 1978. Under Jones’ able leadership and guided by his deep commitment, MINACT, Inc. has grown to occupy a significant position in Job Corps training.
Jones is a graduate in sociology from Indiana State University in Evansville, Indiana and has done additional graduate studies in business administration at the University of Evansville. He is active in community organizations that promote the development of people and serves on the boards of: Jackson International Airport Authority; Tougaloo College; WLBT-TV3, Inc. Foundation; and AmSouth (formerly Deposit Guaranty National Bank) Advisory Board.
Olivia Morgan, former Children’s Health Forum Executive Director and Director of the Federal Office of California Governor Gray Davis
Olivia Morgan is the former Executive Director of the Children’s Health Forum principal of the Dewey Square Group (DSG), where she worked on state and federal relations and communications strategies, with a special emphasis on non profit development. Morgan joined the Dewey Square Group after directing and overseeing the federal agenda for California on behalf of Governor Gray Davis.
Prior to representing California in a policy position, Morgan served as press secretary for the Lieutenant Governor of California. In 1998, as the National Spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, she earned Campaigns and Elections’ ‘Rising Stars’ award and was named one of National Journal’s ‘98 Women to Watch in ‘98’.