Alumnus Alphonso Jackson to Give Commencement Address

University alumnus Alphonso Jackson will serve as the December 2014 commencement speaker. Jackson is a former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a past vice chairman with JPMorgan Chase in New York City.

At JPMorgan Chase, Jackson’s responsibilities included improving internal control functions and enhancing the bank’s regulatory relationships with government by prioritizing and addressing regulatory issues across the bank’s business lines and working with regulators to develop and propose better solutions to overly complex rule making.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Jackson served as the director of the Center for Public Policy and Leadership and as the Distinguished University Professor at Hampton University.

On March 31, 2004, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Jackson as the nation’s 13th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In nominating Jackson, President George W. Bush chose a leader with a strong background in housing and community development, expertise in finance and management and a deep commitment to improving the lives of all Americans. Jackson guided HUD from 2004-2008 in its mission of providing affordable housing and promoting economic development.

Jackson first joined the Bush Administration in June 2001 as HUD’s deputy secretary and chief operating officer. As deputy secretary, he managed the day-to-day operations of the $32-billion agency and instilled a new commitment to ethics and accountability within HUD’s programs and among its workforce and grant partners.

Immediately preceding his appointment at HUD, he served as president of American Electric Power-TEXAS, a $13-billion utility company located in Austin, Texas. From 1989-1996, Jackson was president and CEO of the Housing Authority of Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, Jackson was director of the Department of Public and Assisted Housing in Washington, D.C., and also served as chairperson for the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency Board.

An expert on public housing and urban issues, Jackson has been asked to serve on a number of national and state commissions, most notably the General Services Commission of the State of Texas, where he served as chairman; the National Commission on America’s Urban Families; and the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing. Jackson has also lent his expertise to numerous nonprofit and corporate boards.

Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education administration from Truman. He received his law degree from Washington University School of Law.

Jackson has remained connected to Truman by serving on the Board of Governors from 1994-2001 and by donating his personal collection of items acquired during his years in HUD to Truman’s Pickler Memorial Library at a ceremony held in February 2013.

Jackson and his wife, Marcia, are the parents of two adult daughters.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Pershing Arena.

Alphonso Jackson