Forest T. Harper Jr. is the President and CEO of INROADS, the nation’s largest non-profit model of salaried corporate internships and corporate and community leadership development for outstanding ethnically diverse talent at the pipeline and mid-career levels. Founded in 1970, INROADS has placed students in more than 154,000 paid internships, and over 30,000 of INROADS alumni have full-time professional and managerial positions with more than 1,000 companies. INROADS has averaged more than 4,000 graduates to Corporate America’s diversity pool. With more than 33 years of corporate and community experience, Harper is a proven leader dedicated to Diversity & Inclusion strategies, leadership and talent pipeline development and 21st century workforce planning strategies.
Prior to joining INROADS,Harper spent 28 years at Pfizer. He began his career at Pfizer as a sales representative eventually holding numerous leadership positions from Vice-Presidential positions in sales to his last role where he led Capability Development in Worldwide Public Affairs & Policy. Throughout his career, he successfully designed and implemented new sales product and account strategies, led a number of major organizational initiatives, and achieved substantial business results. Harper was also instrumental in spearheading community-based initiatives targeted to underinsured populations and was the architect of multiple public/private partnerships and alliances involved in over 25,000 community-based organizations, including the Pfizer Share Card and Community Health Advocacy.
In addition to his leadership roles at Pfizer, Harper served as the first President of the Pfizer African-American Leadership Network (PAALN) and a member of Pfizer’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee. He launched the Pfizer SHARE Card as a solution to bridge seniors to the Medicare Modernization Act 2003. He was also a pioneer in creating and launching undergraduate internship programs with schools such as Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry and Morgan State University’s C.A.P (Corporate Alliance Program) at the Earl Graves School of Business, his alma mater.
Harper began his career with Pfizer after serving for six years in the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division, achieving the rank of Captain. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and its Community Impact Committee. ELC is an independent, non-profit corporation of senior African-American executives at Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he serves as a member of the National Board of Directors, INROADS, Inc., the Metro Atlanta Chamber Nonprofit CEO Roundtable, Morgan State University Foundation Board, Forbes Nonprofit Council, Diverse by Design National Work Group and ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Advisory Board.
In 2017 Forest and over 150 CEO’s in the U.S., CEOACTION, pledged their commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Today, there are more than 500 CEO’s who have taken this pledge.
He is also a member of the Morgan State University Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management Board, Foundation Board Member, CEOACTION RACE Committee and University Committee.
Harper holds a B.A. in Social Work from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD and attended an Executive Leadership Training at Harvard Business School in Boston, MA. A native of Fort Pierce, Florida, he and his family currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia.