Howard University has announced that James Comey—attorney and former FBI Director, appointed by Barack Obama during his presidential term—has been named a keynote speaker at this year’s Opening Convocation. Comey, who is also the 2017-2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy, is slated to open the school year as part of a lecture series that aims to “foster fruitful discussion and spur meaningful interaction.”
“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Comey to Howard,” Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement published by the Howard Newsroom. “His expertise and understanding of the challenges we continue to face today will go a long way in sparking rich discussion and advancing meaningful debates across campus.”
Comey will reportedly donate his $100,000 King Chair compensation to a Howard University scholarship fund supporting students from foster homes. As NPR notes, Comey’s role continues his already forged relationship with the institution. Earlier this year, he invited Frederick to speak to FBI employees in an effort to diversify the predominately white male ranks of the bureau.
“Colby and I are delighted that a highly distinguished public official such as Jim Comey will become the holder of the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy for the coming academic year,” Gwen King said. “Since the chair was established in 2008, five prominent public leaders have come on Howard’s campus to engage students on issues related to the public interest, including an examination of the intricacies of policy making. Few in public life are better suited for this role than the experienced and esteemed Jim Comey.”
The King Chair was created in 2008 as a means to provide students with access to “highly accomplished” individuals in public service roles. “Howard has a longstanding history of being a vibrant academic community and the perfect place to have rich dialogue on many of the most pressing issues we face today,” Comey stated. “I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging students and faculty alike.”
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