Richard America

Director, Africa Initiative; Director, Community Reinvestment, Professor of Practice, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

America, Richard F., author, educator, and policy analyst, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his BS in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Harvard University. America then joined Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. He worked there for four years as a Development Economist in the Urban and Regional Economics Group, on economic development, industrial location, urban transport, housing and education projects.

His first major article, was, “What Do You People Want?” in Harvard Business Review. It proposed a new focus on larger scale businesses and Federal subsidies for major acquisitions by African Americans, rather than simply small start up assistance. He advocated for equity and meaningful and competitive participation in all industrial and commercial sectors. The following years America spent at the Haas School of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Lecturer and Director of Urban Programs. He then moved to Washington, DC first in consulting and then in the Federal Government.

He teaches an enterprise development course as a Visiting Professor at the Institut Superieur de Management, ISM, in Dakar, Senegal, annually.

He created a partnership, with funding from the Kellogg Foundation, with the University of Botswana and the University of Pretoria, and established the Southern African Development Community Business School Network, with 50 schools, to help strengthen management education in that region. He has visited 25 countries and 40 universities in Africa, to advance the pace of business school development.

America served 20 years in the U S Government at the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration, working on policy and economic development in distressed areas and revitalization strategies.

As a Professor of the Practice, Director of the Africa Initiative, and Director of Community Reinvestment, America teaches courses in community reinvestment and economic development at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is also working with business schools in Africa to help them improve the teaching of management and to function as problem solvers and drivers of development. He travels there frequently and has established a host of relationships in the business community. America continues to analyze the problems of economic reform, economic development, and community reinvestment for African Americans, and also in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.