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A Trusted Adviser and Role Model

Sunday, March 6, 2016
Clifford Alexander with Harlem Academy's eighth grade class.
Clifford Alexander with Harlem Academy eighth graders.

Clifford Alexander to speak at Harlem Academy's Spring Benefit on April 28

Mr. Alexander spent decades in public service as a counselor to U.S. Presidents and as a champion of civil rights. An attorney and businessman, he was born and raised in Harlem. He attended Fieldston School, then Harvard where he was president of the Student Council, and Yale where he received his law degree. 

In July 1963, he was called to serve on the staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy administration. President Johnson appointed him Deputy Special Assistant to the President, and in 1967, Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1977, President Carter appointed him Secretary of the Army where he managed the transition to an all-volunteer force. For decades he has been president of Alexander & Associates, and continues to serve as a trusted adviser on civil rights and issues of equality.

“We are honored that Mr. Alexander is choosing to have an impact here,” said Vinny Dotoli, head of school. “He connects to our mission on many levels, including modeling intellectual rigor and serving as a resource for our curriculum.”

This spring, Mr. Alexander will visit Harlem Academy to meet students and lead a history seminar. The eighth graders just completed a full trimester exploring the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Civil Rights Era. 

“Our American History course is built entirely from primary sources,” says history teacher Sean Robertson. “Adding Mr. Alexander’s perspective lets our students see that era through his eyes, and talk with him about how it has evolved through to today.”