Commencement Speaker

Wes Moore

Governor of Maryland

Wes Moore

Wes Moore is the 63rd governor of Maryland. He is the first Black governor in the state’s history and just the third African American to be elected governor in the United States.

Born in Takoma Park, Md. on Oct. 15, 1978, Moore experienced the tragic death of his father from a rare but treatable virus when he was 3 years old. His family then moved to the Bronx to live with Moore’s grandparents before returning to Maryland at age 14.

Moore is a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, where he received an associate’s degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Afterward, he went on to earn his bachelor’s in international relations and economics at Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

While at Johns Hopkins, Moore interned in the office of then-Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. As the university’s first Black Rhodes Scholar, he earned a master’s degree in international relations from Wolfson College at Oxford.

In 2005, Moore deployed to Afghanistan as a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division, leading soldiers in combat. Immediately upon returning home, Moore served as a White House fellow, advising on issues of national security and international relations.

In 2010, Moore wrote “The Other Wes Moore,” a book about the fragile nature of opportunity in America, which became a New York Times bestseller. He went on to write other bestselling books that reflect on issues of race, equity and opportunity, most recently “Five Days,” which tells the story of Baltimore in the days following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

Moore also built and launched a Baltimore-based business called BridgeEdU, which reinvented the first year of college for underserved students to increase their likelihood of long-term success. BridgeEdu was acquired by the Brooklyn-based student financial success platform Edquity in 2018.

His commitment to taking on our toughest challenges brought him to the Robin Hood Foundation, where he served for four years as CEO. During his tenure, the foundation distributed over $600 million toward lifting families out of poverty, including here in Maryland.