Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), will serve as the speaker for the Southern University at New Orleans 2014 Commencement Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m. in Kiefer Lakefont Arena.
Named one of the “Power 100” by Ebony Magazine in its 2011 list of the 100 most influential African Americans, Taylor leads the only national organization representing nearly 300,000 students attending this country’s 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). With approximately 80 percent of all HBCU students attending TMCF member-schools, the organization is responsible for providing this country with a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders.
Prior to assuming the presidency of TMCF, Taylor worked as a senior executive for IAC/InterActiveCorp – first as its senior vice president of human resources and then as the president and chief executive officer of one of IAC’s operating subsidiaries, RushmoreDrive.com. Taylor’s career also spanned nearly 15 years as litigation partner and president of the human resources consulting business for the McGuireWoods law firm; executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Compass Group USA; general counsel and senior vice president of human resources for Viacom subsidiary, Paramount Pictures Live Entertainment Group; and associate general counsel and vice president of human resources for Viacom subsidiary, Blockbuster Entertainment Group.
Taylor, an Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholar and honors graduate of the University of Miami, earned a Master of Arts with Honors from Drake University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence with Honors from the Drake Law School. While at the law school, he served as research editor of the Drake Law Review and argued on the National Moot Court Team. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C., and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.
Taylor, who currently serves on the corporate board of Gallup, a leader in organizational consulting and public opinion research, also volunteers his time to several not-for-profit boards, including serving as former chairman of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one of the world’s largest professional associations with 250,000 members in more than 100 countries; a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the USA, the country’s largest social service agency; and a member of the Board of Trustees of The Cooper Union, one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning dedicated to preparing students for the professions of art, architecture and engineering. He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.