Alec Ross believes that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. As a result too many of our children are not being prepared for tomorrow’s economy. That must change. And that’s why one of the nation’s leading experts in innovation is running for governor.
Alec grew up in coal country and worked his way through college, including on a beer truck and as a midnight janitor. After college, he moved to Baltimore to teach in the City’s public schools — 6th grade at Booker T. Washington Middle School. Alec saw firsthand the inequities in our school system and implemented programs connecting his students to opportunities in higher education and conflict resolution. It’s also where he met his wife, Felicity, who taught in the classroom across the hall – and continues to teach in Baltimore City public schools today.
Recognizing the inequities that made it nearly impossible for low-income families to get ahead, Alec co-founded a non-profit start-up called One Economy, which helped deliver high-speed Internet access, educational content and education to low-income communities. One Economy started in a basement and grew into a global organization serving millions of low-income families.
But like so many others, Alec was inspired to get involved in politics during Barack Obama’s historic campaign in 2008. He joined the Obama campaign at its outset, convening leaders from the technology and innovation sectors to draft new policies that promoted economic development and government openness and transparency. And after serving on the Obama-Biden Transition Team, Alec was appointed Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In that role, he developed new and creative ways to use technology and innovation to serve America’s diplomatic agenda around the world, and was the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including Internet Freedom and the use of network technologies in conflict zones.
After leaving the State Department, Alec wrote a book titled The Industries of the Future which lays out a series of new ideas for ways that everyday workers can seize new economic opportunities and steps that parents can take to better-prepare their children. The book became a New York Times bestseller and is being published in 18 languages. Alec has received a number of respected recognitions, including: Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, Huffington Post’s 10 Game-Changers in Politics and the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award.
Alec lives in Baltimore City with his wife, Felicity, and their three children who all proudly attend Baltimore City public schools.