Harry C. Alford
President & CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce
In less than a decade, NBCC President, CEO and co-founder Harry Alford has established himself as perhaps the nation's preeminent champion of African-American business empowerment. From a visionary concept of what Blacks need to do to fully seize their place in the economic mainstream, Mr. Alford has built a global organization that has earned a place at the table in the White House and at the top levels of Corporate America.
As the intellectual and spiritual linchpin of the NBCC, Mr. Alford has been responsible for opening doors that have led to billions of dollars in new business for Black-owned businesses throughout the nation. His relentless energy and advocacy is helping forge international business opportunities for African-Americans and emerging entrepreneurs in Africa, the Caribbean, South America and the rest of the Black Diaspora. For this work he was recently named a cultural Ambassador by the United States State Department.
A native of California, Mr. Alford has made his mark at the highest levels of both the private and public sectors. After earning top honors as Company Commander in the Army's Officer Candidate School class, Mr. Alford put his leadership skills to work in a series of key sales and executive positions at Fortune 100 companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and the Sara Lee Corporation.
In the public sector, Mr. Alford made a dramatic impression as the minority business development point person in Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh's administration. In less than two years, increased minority business participation at the State level by more than 500 percent - a feat never before nor since accomplished. For that achievement and others, he was named The US Department of Commerce's Region 5 Minority Business Advocate of the Year for 1991. In October 1996, The African Americans for Corporate Responsibility of New York honored Mr. Alford for his successes in minority business development. More recently, Fortune Small Business magazine ranked Mr. Alford #5 on its "Power 30" list of Washington, D.C.'s most influential small business advocates.
Mr. Alford writes weekly business columns for the National Newspaper Publishers Association's members across the country and consults and speaks on this matter to groups and agencies throughout the nation. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the United States Chamber of Commerce and is currently a member of the National Advisory Council, Small Business Administration and also serves on the Board of Directors for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). As a consultant, he has developed business models tailored to specific corporations and public agencies.
Mr. Alford is regularly called upon by Congress to testify on various legislative initiatives related to small business development, e-commerce, health care, social security reform, tax reform and global trade issues. He has delivered key testimony, for example, on the ongoing debate over the Kyoto Protocol. During his presentation, Mr. Alford argued that Black businesses in America and those in developing nations would suffer disproportionately if the United States agreed to adopt many provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
Mr. and Mrs. Alford reside in Maryland with their college student/athlete sons.