General Colin Powell to speak on leadership at USI in April
August 23, 2018
The University of Southern Indiana will present "Leadership: Taking Charge," a moderated discussion with General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4, 2019, at the new USI Arena. The discussion will be free and open to the public.
General Powell will be the fourth speaker in the University's Romain College of Business Innovative Speaker Series. Previous speakers include T. Boone Pickens, legendary entrepreneur and philanthropist in 2013, Dr. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve in 2015, and Dr. Oscar Salazar, founding chief technology officer of Uber in 2017.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937, and was raised in the South Bronx. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of Four-Star General.
He served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Powell was the first African American, as well as youngest and first ROTC graduate, to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his time as chairman, he oversaw 28 crises, including the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As Secretary of State, he led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts. He used the power of diplomacy to build trust, forge alliances and then help transform these unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures have the potential to prosper. He also worked at the forefront of American efforts to advance economic and social development worldwide.
Among the many U.S. Military awards and decorations Powell has received are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he has received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
His autobiography, My American Journey, was a New York Times best seller and has been published in more than a dozen different languages. Powell's second book, It Worked for Me: In Life & Leadership (May 2012), was an instant New York Times best seller as well and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.
Powell earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the City College of New York. He and his wife, the former Alma Vivian Johnson, have three children and four grandchildren.
"Leadership: Taking Charge" is hosted by the USI Romain College of Business and made possible through private gifts to the USI Foundation.