Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 01/04/2012

Christopher B. Howard, Ph.D., Class of 2002
President, Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia

The International Achievement Summit experience served as a springboard, catapulting me into the world of doers, makers, movers and shakers. I had never been surrounded by so many talented individuals at a single event in my life and was bowled over by the hospitable, generous and thoughtful nature of all the attendees, including my counterparts and the marquee attendees. I vividly recall conversations with actor Jeremy Irons at breakfast, followed by a word or two with Dr. Ben Carson. Then it was off to hear Benazir Bhutto, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Hamid Karzai while sitting next to author Frank McCourt. Did I mention my conversations with opera singer Kathleen Battle and activist Ralph Nader on the bus ride over? The individuals invited to participate did just that — they participated, they engaged, they connected, and they inspired the next generation of leaders to do great work and to serve others. I am no doubt a more competent, capable leader because I participated in the Summit.

Christopher Howard is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was Class President and Group Commander. He earned his doctorate in politics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford before serving for five years as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force. He earned an MBA at Harvard before he was recalled to active duty; he was awarded the Bronze Star for combat service in Afghanistan. After several years as an executive with General Electric, he was recruited by former senator and governor, David L. Boren to serve as the Vice President for Strategic and Leadership Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma. In 2009, Dr. Howard was named the 24th President of Hampden-Sydney College; he is one of the youngest college presidents in the United States. Hampden-Sydney is a private liberal arts college for men and has been in continuous operation since classes began in 1775 on its historic campus 60 miles southwest of Richmond, Virginia (www.hsc.edu). In 2011-12, Hampden-Sydney improved 17 spots in the US News & World Report rankings, the largest such jump of any of the top 100 liberal arts colleges. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

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