Bestselling author Wes Moore, who has confronted war, poverty and political upheaval as an Army veteran and social entrepreneur, will talk about effective leadership during challenging times as the keynote speaker at the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 21.

As CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, the largest anti-poverty nonprofit in New York City, Moore speaks frequently about topics such as racial and economic injustice. His talk at the MMA meeting is titled “Evolve, Adapt, Inspire: The Tenets of Transformational Leadership.” (The 2021 MMA Annual Meeting, “Leading Through Challenge and Change,” will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Against the backdrop of an especially difficult year, Moore talks about how leaders can evolve, adapt and inspire others, while keeping an eye on the big picture and the future. He will address these goals in the context of the public health, political and financial challenges that local leaders face.

Moore is a frequent panelist on news and commentary shows, and has spoken in depth about navigating the difficulties of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the social unrest surrounding recent police killings of people of color, and a contentious election year. On the June 26 episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Moore stressed how important it is for elected officials to be clear and honest with the public as the nation’s challenges mount and its political divide widens.

“I think that what people are yearning for right now, what people are craving right now, is truth, and it’s transparency, and it’s honesty,” Moore said.

As Moore explains how America can persevere through these turbulent times, he often draws upon the challenges and adversity that he has overcome in his life. He lost his father at a young age, was raised by a single mother, and overcame a troubled childhood to graduate from the Valley Forge Military Academy and Johns Hopkins University, going on to become a Rhodes Scholar studying international relations at Oxford University.

After completing his studies, Moore served as a captain in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, leading combat paratroopers in Afghanistan. During President George W. Bush’s administration, he served as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and he is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also worked in the financial industry, as an investment banker for Deutsche Bank in London and for Citigroup in New York.

As Robin Hood’s CEO, Moore oversees efforts to reduce poverty by partnering with more than 250 nonprofits to provide food, housing, education, legal and workforce development services to residents of New York City.

Previously, Moore founded BridgeEdU, a Baltimore-based startup giving underserved students college transition support to improve their chances of academic success.

Moore is the author of several books, including “The Other Wes Moore,” “The Work,” “Discovering Wes Moore” and “This Way Home.”

His most recent book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City,” examines the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s 2015 death in police custody in Moore’s hometown of Baltimore. While addressing the roles that poverty, discrimination and economic injustice play in such tragedies, Moore urges the country to take an unflinching look at its problems in order to move forward.

“The pride and promise of America are too strong to allow our scattered past to hinder its prospects,” Moore writes. “Loving your country means fighting for the institutionalization of its core goodness. Loving your country does not mean lying about its past.”

To achieve progress in society, Moore urges people to learn from the past and to recognize that “our fates are profoundly intertwined.”

“Understand that the best way to protect our own future is to protect the future of others,” Moore writes. “To use our power to demand justice. We aren’t asking that everyone end up in the same spot. We are asking that everyone get a fair shot.”

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