In 2021, Wes Moore launched his much-anticipated bid for governor in Maryland. At 44, Moore is already an established figure in national media, thanks in part to his versatile interests and talents: Chief Executive Officer, combat veteran, motivational speaker, popular author, social entrepreneur, and Rhodes Scholar. Born in Takoma Park, Maryland, Moore rose from poverty to become the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York-based philanthropic organization that distributed $600 million during his tenure. A veritable Renaissance man, he is also the author of several best-selling books. His first book, The Other Wes Moore, became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Moore, a member of the Democratic Party, is not a neophyte when it comes to politics, either. After serving in Afghanistan as a paratrooper and captain in the Army, he later became a Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a White House fellow.
Despite early academic and behavioral difficulties, Moore graduated from Valley Forge Military College, a junior college, and promptly transferred to Johns Hopkins University in 1998. At Hopkins, Moore put his natural athletic abilities to good use by joining the football team. He played wide receiver and averaged an impressive 25.2 yards per reception during his senior year. While a student, he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and he founded STAND! (Students Taking a New Direction), which pairs students from Baltimore’s juvenile detention centers with mentors from Hopkins. In 2001, Moore graduated from Hopkins with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies.
Moore, who currently holds a seat on the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees, has frequently returned to his alma mater over the years. Noted for his public speaking ability, Moore has delivered campus speeches since 2013, when he gave a rousing motivational lecture to students on the importance of the Johns Hopkins experience. “It was here that, in many cases, I literally became a man," he said of his alma mater. "It was here that I got a much better understanding of who I was as a person and what I was supposed to be doing on this planet."
Additionally, Moore was back on campus in 2020 to give special remarks at the university's Commencement ceremony. The following year, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) invited Moore to participate in its Dean’s Speaker Series, the highest profile speaker series at the SAIS. Then in February 2022, he spoke with Hopkins students about his on-going gubernatorial campaign, among numerous subjects of interest. At first, Moore opened his talk by paying homage to his college days – and addressed how his experience at Hopkins shaped the trajectory of his life. Conversation soon broadened to the history and politics of Maryland, which opened the door for Moore to highlight opportunities for improving the local infrastructure. “We have the best medical institutions, like Johns Hopkins University Hospital," he said, returning to the topic of his beloved alma mater, "where people will fly in from around the world to get treated..."