Dr. Lenneal Henderson has been a consultant to federal, state and local government, the corporate sector and the nonprofit sector for more than 30 years in the areas of housing, education policy, energy management, environmental policy and public management.
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, Henderson has traveled to the Netherlands, seven nations in Africa, India, Australia, and Chile to speak on public policy issues. His areas of expertise include energy and environmental policy; economic and financial policy; race and ethnic relations; urban policy and international and foreign policy.
Henderson’s faith that positive change will and can happen motivates him in his work. Whether he is helping to “put students in touch with their own authority” in his role as a university professor, or leveraging and networking among the boards and commissions he serves on, Henderson believes persistence pays off. “It’s important to stay in the battle,” he says. “If you have to drop out, make sure you’ve groomed your successor.”
According to Henderson, success occurs only on an interim basis. He tends to look beyond his current projects to the next challenge. “I can’t feel completely successful because there’s always that next goal to be accomplished.”
Henderson is passionate about learning, spiritual exploration, and service—particularly to people at opposite ends of the age spectrum. His various professional and volunteer activities have spanned from neighborhood projects in his hometown of Baltimore, to national projects on integrated housing developments, to establishing an international exchange program. He admits, “I love to work internationally.” He goes abroad at least annually to teach, lecture, or consult and now sends students abroad to pursue their interests.
Dr. Henderson was a delegate to the People-to-People Ambassador Program in China; a lecturer for the State Department in Zimbabwe; a paper presenter at the conference on Democracy and Global Security in Turkey; and at the World Summit on Cities, Bellagio, Italy, as part of the Citistates Group writing a book about global urban challenges.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas Supreme Court decision, Henderson wrote a performed a one-man play as Thurgood Marshall. These performances have taken place in Maryland, Texas, North Carolina and California.
Born in New Orleans and raised in the housing projects of San Francisco, Henderson is currently Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Administration and Senior Fellow at the William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore where he was formerly a Henry C. Welcome Fellow.
Along with economist Michael Bell, Henderson founded the Center for Effective Local Democracy in South Africa as a citizen-based project and a way of using peace economics to heal the conflicts in post-apartheid South Africa. The first project was the building of a secondary school in the village of Kullelle which opened in November 2001.
His books include Black Political Life in the United States, Administrative Advocacy: Black Administrators in Urban Bureaucracies, The New Black Politics: The Search for Political Power, Public Administration and Public Policy: A Minority Perspective (with Lawrence Howard and Deryl Hunt) and, most recently, Dimensions of Learning: Education for Life (with Bernice D. Johnson, Debra Parker and Magnoria Lunsford).
He has been a Kellogg National Fellow, a Ford Foundation, National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Rockefeller Research Fellow. He is also a graduate of Leadership Howard County as serves as a faculty member for the Johns Hopkins University Leadership Development Program for Minorities Association (CPHA) of Baltimore.
He has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Baltimore Urban League and serves on the Boards of the Baltimore Urban League, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the National Civic League, The Center for Effective Local Democracy and the Caroline Center. For 21 years, he has served on the Jury for the selection of the 10 All-American cities chosen each year by the National Civic League and has served as a site evaluator for the Harvard/Kennedy School American Innovations Program.
He is Vice-Chairman of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and a member of the Board of Directors of the Reginald Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Associated Catholic Charities of Central Maryland. In September 2005, he was elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration. He received his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and has conducted additional postdoctoral study at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University studying peace and conflict resolution in India and Africa and the George Washington University in Science, Technology and Public Policy.
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