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Kweisi Mfume at JHU

Kweisi Mfume in front of an American flag


1976 Bachelor of Science, Morgan State University

1984 Master’s degree, liberal arts, Johns Hopkins University

Work History

1979 Elected to Baltimore City Council.

1986 Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Maryland’s 7th congressional district.

1996 Left the House to accept the presidency of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

1998–2010 Served as a member of the JHU Board of Trustees.

2010 Named chief executive officer of the National Medical Association.

2011 Appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services as a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

2013 Was the managing director and principal investigator for the Health Policy Research Consortium in Maryland, where he led an NIH-funded team of researchers in developing ways to close the gaps between science and health disparity policies.

2016 Served as vice chairman of Research America until 2020.

2020 Elected to his former House seat in 2020 after it was left vacant by the death of his friend Congressman Elijah Cummings.


  • Born, raised, and educated in Baltimore.
  • Recipient of 11 honorary doctoral degrees.
  • While a member of Congress, he was the recipient of the NAACP Image Award for national leadership and later the 2005 Telly Award for the television documentary Ticket to Freedom.
  • Serves as chairman of the Morgan State University Board of Regents.
  • Oratorically, he has twice performed in concert with opera soprano Kathleen Battle, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
  • Served as both vice-chair and later chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  • Former chairperson of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States House of Representatives and Senate.
  • Co-sponsored and helped to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, strengthened the Equal Credit Opportunity Law, and co-authored and amended the Civil Rights Bill of 1991. He also sponsored and passed legislative initiatives to ban assault weapons and established stalking as a federal crime.
  • Recently, he has passed legislation to address the need for diversity in clinical cancer trials by pharmaceutical companies using federal dollars (the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act), codified and tripled the budget of the only federal agency tasked with promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses (the Minority Business Development Agency), and brought back billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief money to his Maryland district.

In His Own Words

All my life people would ask me what is the best job you ever had, or what did you really like doing? The best opportunity I ever had was to be a member of Congress.

The Baltimore Sun, August 23, 2021

Hate radio, hate speech, hate groups, and hate crimes really don’t belong in the America that we love.

MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, July 29, 2009

One of the real issues is that there are too many young people in too many schools that are overcrowded and ill-equipped, with drugs more available than textbooks.

WBAL-TV11, November 4, 2019