Cordell Carter, II

Cordell Carter, II

Executive Director and Founding Director, Project on Belonging

Cordell brings more than 20 years to his pursuit of a society and  organizational cultures where everyone belongs and has equitable opportunities to thrive. He is currently executive director of the Aspen Institute Socrates Program, a global education forum and the founding director of the Aspen Institute’s Project on Belonging. Finally, Cordell founded the Festival of the Diaspora, a Colombia-based convener of diasporic communities across the Americas. Before his current roles, Cordell held leadership roles with the TechTown Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle Public Schools, Business Roundtable, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the IBM Corporation.

For the Aspen Institute, he curates more than three dozen off the-record leadership seminars annually in capital cities around the world reaching more than 1,000 leaders each year. He is also leading the Aspen Institute’s efforts to shift the national conversation on racial equity and inclusion from compliance to belonging via two annual summits entitled “Visionaries Summit: The Future of Belonging in  America” and the “Festival of the Diaspora.” As the creator and lead facilitator of “Becoming an Inclusive Republic and producer of the documentary “The Road Trip to Belonging”, he is a sought-after facilitator and speaker on belonging and inclusion, post-secondary success and democratic ideals. Over the last few years, he has delivered dozens of keynote speeches, facilitated roundtables and moderated panels all over the globe. Through Expectant Advisory, Cordell advises leaders and boards of directors at various points on their enterprise-wide inclusion and belonging learning journeys.

One of Cordell’s passions is leveraging human technology for greater impact, to that end he founded TechTown Foundation in 2014 (a provider of technology education to K-12 students) which resulted in him being feted by the Obama Administration as a 2016 Champion of Change for Computer Science Education. He also advises two technology companies, SkillStorm and EVPassport, respectively, on creating cybersecurity training academies in underserved communities across America via the Upskill Together Initiative; and extending electric-vehicle battery charging stations in economically-underserved neighborhoods across the American South.

Cordell’s leadership has been recognized all over the USA. In June 2021, President Joseph  Biden appointed him as Commissioner, to the President’s Commission on White House  Fellowships. His other honors include: the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Leadership Awardee  by Cultural Vistas, an Eisenhower Fellowship to China; designation as a “40 under 40” by  business and civic organizations in Washington State and Tennessee; University of Notre Dame Law School alumni of the year awardee; selections as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow for Young American Leaders and a Broad Foundation Resident in Urban Education.

Cordell earned a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, a M.Sc. in Public Policy and Management Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.

Authored by Cordell Carter