The Converse College Class of 2019 announces that Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley, will give the commencement address during their graduation ceremony on Saturday May 18, 2019. An accomplished author, singer and corporate leader, Harris has become a global advocate for increasing access and opportunity in the corporate sector and is a leading keynote speaker on motivation, success, and exceeding expectations.
“As our new graduates begin to forge their own paths in our world, role models and mentors like Carla Harris will be invaluable to their success,” said Converse President Krista Newkirk. “As one of our nation’s top women trailblazers, she offers the ideal capstone to the Converse experience. We look forward to welcoming her to Converse!”
As our new graduates begin to forge their own paths in our world, role models and mentors like Carla Harris will be invaluable to their success
As Vice Chairman for Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley at Morgan Stanley, Harris is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. She has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. The recipient of numerous awards, including being named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America,” Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council in 2013. She is the author of two best-selling books, Strategize To Win and Expect To Win.
Harris has been named to Fortune’s magazine’s “Most Influential List,” US Bankers “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance,” Black Enterprise’s “Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business,” as well as the “Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street.” She was also named to Essence Magazine’s list of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World,” Ebony’s list of the “Power 100” and “15 Corporate Women at the Top,” and was named “Woman of the Year” in 2004 by the Harvard Black Men’s Forum and in 2011 by the Yale Black Men’s Forum.
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Carla received an MBA, Second Year Honors from Harvard Business School and an AB in economics from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude. Carla has also received Honorary Doctorates of Laws, Humanities and Business from Marymount Manhattan College, Bloomfield College, Jacksonville University, Simmons College, the College of New Rochelle, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Wake Forest University, Felician University, and Fisk University, respectively.
Harris is a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University and of the board of directors of the Walmart Corporation. She is the past Chair of the Board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and of The Executive Leadership Council, and sits on the boards of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), A Better Chance, Inc, and St. Vincent’s Hospitals.
Harris released her third gospel CD “Unceasing Praise” in 2011. Her second CD, a gospel album titled “Joy Is Waiting” was featured on BET Nightly News. Her first CD, entitled “Carla’s First Christmas,” was a bestseller on Amazon.com in New York and in record stores, and was featured on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in his “American Dream” segment. She is an active member of the St. Charles Gospelites of the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and the Mark Howell Singers, and has performed five sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall and one at the Apollo Theatre.