Expert

Lee Walker

Senior Fellow, Urban Policy
Phone: 
312/377-4000

Lee H. Walker is president of The New Coalition for Economic and Social Change and a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute. He is chairman of the Illinois State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is a director of the Black United Fund of Illinois and the Gidwitz Center for Urban Policy at National Louis University, and chairman of the board of the American Fund and trustee of the Foundation Board for the University of the Orange Free State (South Africa).

Walker is a member of the editorial board and an editorial writer for the Chicago Defender and a former monthly columnist for Crain's Chicago Business. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi, Delta Alpha Boule (Northern Illinois), Chicago Chapter of National Guardsmen Inc., and Chicago Chapter of the National Black Journalists. In 2001 he received the Pioneer Award from the Republican National Committee. He was the 2002 National President of the National Guardsmen Inc. He is listed in Who's Who Among Black Americans.

Walker graduated from Fordham University, New York City, majoring in economics, with additional studies at the University of Chicago, New York University, Brooklyn College, and Alabama State University. In 1975, Walker was elected vice president of the Brooklyn, New York chapter of the NAACP. He worked for 10 years as director of labor relations for a shopping center management company before joining Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1970. He as an executive at Sears for 23 years, the first 10 in the New York buying office and the next 13 in the national headquarters in Chicago. Walker accepted an early retirement offer from Sears in 1993 and since then has worked full-time as president of The New Coalition.

Since 1981, Walker has served as a member of the Community Development Board of the University of Chicago's Office of Special Programs. He is a former member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Chicago State University Foundation; a trustee of the Illinois State Community College System; a commissioner with the Midwestern (10 States) Higher Education Commission; and a member of the Community Advisory Panel of WTTW-TV (PBS). Between 1990 and 1992 he was chairman of the Merit Advisory Board of the Department of Personnel of the Office of the Secretary of the State of Illinois.