Jan 19, 2011
INROADS Announces Sixth President Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders
INROADS, Inc., the nation’s largest non-profit source for paid internships for high-performing underserved students has named Forest T. Harper, Jr. as its President and CEO. With more than 33 years of corporate and community experience, Harper is a proven leader dedicated to community health advocacy, leadership and talent pipeline development and organizational outreach.
"Forest brings all of the attributes necessary to enhance the INROADS value proposition for students, sponsoring companies, and alumni. He has an extensive corporate background with a focus on sales and operations and significant experience in non-profit organizations,” says Maria Morris, INROADS National Board Chair and Executive Vice President of Technology & Operations at MetLife. “He is a true professional, and we are very fortunate to have Forest as our new leader.”
In his role as CEO, Harper will provide corporate leadership for INROADS and oversee the implementation of the organization’s strategic vision. Harper will guide INROADS in strengthening existing corporate partnerships and creating new ones to ultimately increase the number of internships and corporate opportunities afforded to INROADS Interns.
“As a proud INROADS Alumna of 17 years, I am optimistic about the direction which Forest will lead the organization. For diversity and inclusion of great underserved talent in business and industry, the INROADS mission is as relevant today as it was 41 years ago. I am confident that with the right leadership, we can positively impact even more lives in the next 41 years than we did in the first 40 years,” says Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders, Senior Vice-President of Bank of America Corporation.
Prior to joining INROADS, Forest spent 28 years at Pfizer, having joined in 1982 after serving for six years in the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division. He began his career at Pfizer as a sales representative eventually holding numerous leadership roles from Vice-Presidential positions in sales to his last role where he led Capability Development in Worldwide Public Affairs & Policy. Throughout his career, Harper successfully designed and implemented new product and account strategies, led a number of major organizational initiatives, and achieved substantial business results. Harper was also instrumental in spearheading community-based initiatives targeted to under-insured populations. He was the architect of multiple public/private partnerships and alliances involving over 25,000 community-based organizations, including the Pfizer Share Card and Community Health Advocacy.
In addition to his leadership roles at Pfizer, Harper served as the first President of the Pfizer African-American Leadership Network (PAALN) and a member of Pfizer’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee. He was also a pioneer in creating and launching undergraduate internship programs with schools such as Florida A&M’s University School of Business and Industry and Morgan State University’s C.A.P (Corporate Alliance Program) at the Earl Graves School of Business.
Forest is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), an independent, non-profit corporation of senior African-American executives at Fortune 500 companies, as well as, the National Society of Pershing Rifles Alumni Association (NSPRAA). His leadership bandwidth spans from former Secretary and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the National Arthritis Foundation to Board of Directors member for the National Council for the Aging (NCOA).
“It is an honor and a privilege to assume the leadership of INROADS. The rich legacy of INROADS, our mission, our interns, alumni and clients, whether they are from small towns like I am or larger cities, have all helped to transform the American workplace; establishing a solid foundation over our first 40 years—a foundation that we can and should continue to build upon,” says Harper.
“The mission of INROADS is more relevant than ever! I strongly believe that with the support and partnership of nearly 24,000 Alumni, nearly 2,000 Interns, over 200 Corporate Clients, and the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been touched by INROADS, we can accomplish our vision that corporate America, especially at its most senior levels, will one day mirror the diversity of this country.”
Harper holds a B.A. in Social Work from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD and attended an Executive Leadership at the Harvard Business School in Boston, MA. A native of Fort Pierce, Florida, he and his family currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia.