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A Conversation with Wes Moore

March 9, 2021


Wes Moore, CEO, Robin Hood Foundation 

Eliot A. Cohen, Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS

The school invited renowned author, motivational speaker, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, and Johns Hopkins University alumnus, Wes Moore, to engage in a discussion on leadership, equity, and anti-poverty efforts.

Moore began by recalling his upbringing, including his most formative experience of losing his father at a young age. Consequently, he enrolled in military school at the age of 13, which began a journey that included becoming a paratrooper, a Rhodes Scholar, and serving as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Moore then shared insights from his book “The Other Wes Moore,” which examines what really makes the difference between people growing up in similar circumstances. He recalled that the fundamental differences between him and the other Moore were the expectations that others placed on them, and the effects it had on them. This led Moore to pursue a life dedicated to poverty eradication, which he has sought to tackle through the Robin Hood Foundation.

Moore concluded the conversation by discussing race relations in America today. He emphasized that America must reckon with its racial past and work to undo a system where progress is no longer inevitable.