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Ron Walters was born in Wichita, Kansas, on July 20, 1938. Walters is known throughout the world for his knowledge of African American politics and leadership and his writing. He is currently director of the African American Leadership Institute and Scholar Practitioner Program, Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and respected professor in government and politics at the University of Maryland.



Walters received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Government with Honors from Fisk University 1963 and both his M.A. in African Studies 1966 and Ph.D. in International Studies 1971 from American University. He has served as professor and chair of the political science department at Howard University, assistant professor and chair of Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University, and assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University. He has also served as visiting professor at Princeton University and as a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is a former member of the governing council of the American Political Science Association and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Ralph Bunch Institute of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. Walters has also served as the senior policy staff member for Congressman Charles Diggs, Jr. and Congressman William Gray.

In 1984, Walters served as campaign manager and consultant for Reverend Jesse Jackson during his two presidential bids. He was also active in politics by being policy adviser for Charles Diggs and William Gray, congressmen.

Ron has published well over 100 academic articles and seven books to date. One book, Black Presidential Politics in America, won the Bunche Prize.

Walters also has appeared on television many times, going on popular shows such as CNN’s Crossfire, The Jesse Jackson Show, CBS News Nightline, and Evening Exchange. He has appeared on radio shows, such as All Things Considered and Living Room.

Ron Walters is currently married to Patricia Ann Walters and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Works and Publications

  • Black Presidential Politics in America
  • Pan Africanism in the African Diaspora
  • White Nationalism, Black Interests: Conservative Public Policy and the Black Community
  • Freedom is Not Enough : Black Voters, Black Candidates, and American Presidential Politics
  • The Legitimacy to Lead
  • Standing Up in America's Heartlands: Sitting in Before Greensboro


  • the Ralph Bunche Prize
  • 2 time winner of the Best Book award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientist (NCOBPS)
  • distinguished faculty award from Howard University
  • Distinguished Scholar/Activist Award, The Black Scholar Magazine
  • W.E.B. DuBois/Frederick Douglas Award, African Heritage Studies Association
  • the Ida Wells Barnett Award, Association of Black School Educators
  • the Fannie Lou Hammer Award, National Conference of Black Political Scientist
  • Distinguished Faculty Contributions to the Campus Diversity, University of Maryland
  • Wells-W.E.B. DuBois Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the National Council for Black Studies




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