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Ernest   Green

Ernest Green

Member of the "Little Rock Nine" / Consultant

Ernest Green

Member of the "Little Rock Nine" / Consultant


Ernest G. Green currently works at Matrix Advisory, an institutional asset manager. Mr. Green is currently serving as a partner of this asset management firm which has offices in New York and Washington, DC. His long involvement in helping states, cities, municipalities and governmental authorities finance their needs throughout the United States has led to him helping to lead Matrix into a new era of public private partnerships. As the former chairman of the African Development Foundation, he uses his international contacts to assist international leaders with their needs, particularly in the area of infrastructure.

Mr. Green was appointed to Chairman of the African Development Foundation by President Clinton. He was also appointed by Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley, to serve as Chairman of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board.

Mr. Green served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training during the Carter Administration. During his tenure with the Labor Department, he formulated U.S. Presidential Policy and directed implementation of a vast range of activities. These activities included federally funded comprehensive training, public service employment, employment security programs, apprenticeship programs, research and development, alien worker certification, work incentive programs for the disadvantaged and technical assistance for labor market information for the nation's employment and training efforts. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Green served as Executive Director of the Recruitment and Training Program, Inc. (RTP, Inc.), an organization that recruits minorities for apprenticeship programs in the building trades.

Mr. Green was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 22, 1941. He earned his high school diploma from Central High School in Little Rock. He and eight other black students were the first to integrate Central High following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregation illegal. They later would become known as the "Little Rock Nine". He received a B.S. in social science and a Masters in sociology from Michigan State University. He also received honorary doctorates from Michigan State University, Tougaloo College and Central State University.


Mr. Green presently serves on the Board of Directors of Fisk University, Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network and Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Leadership Council and the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) of which he served as chairman for two consecutive years. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Hundreds of organizations have honored Mr. Green during his career and he is the recipient of numerous awards. These awards include the Urban League’s Frederick Douglass Freedom Medal and the John D. Rockefeller Public Service Award. At the age of seventeen, he was the youngest recipient of the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal. In 1957 the Boy Scouts of America honored Mr. Green and two other African Americans for their achievement with the BSA’s highest rank and award—that of an Eagle Scout. He was also awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest distinction from the Boy Scouts of America. In November of 1995, the Boy Scouts of America awarded Mr. Green the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. On November 9, 1999 Mr. Green, along with the other eight students, was presented by President Clinton with the highest honor this nation gives to a civilian—the “Congressional Gold Medal”—for his outstanding bravery during the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. On August 20, 2005 they were honored with a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service, and in 2007 President George Bush signed an Executive Order authorizing the U. S. Mint to issue a one-dollar coin commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the “Little Rock Nine.”

Several books, movies and documentaries have been produced chronicling Mr. Green and his eight classmates’ historic year at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas—the most recent being The Ernest Green Story, produced and distributed by the Walt Disney Corporation. The October 1996 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine featured Mr. Green as one of the top 25 African Americans on Wall Street, again in the October 2002 issue as one of the top 50 African Americans on Wall Street, and again in 2006 as one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.” Additionally, Ernest Green is a founding charter member of the Sigma chapter of Omega Psi Phi, as well as past Sire Archon of Sigma Pi Phi.

Mr. Green and his wife Phyllis live in Washington, D. C. He is the proud father of Adam, Jessica and MacKenzie.

Speech Topics

The Ernest Green Story

Lesson from Little Rock