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Haskell Sears Ward
Haskell Sears Ward

United States

Senior vice president of SEACOM, with more than 50 years of experience in international affairs.

More by user: cshiner
Created: 15th Jan 2009
Modified: 6th Nov 2011
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
SEACOM Corporation
Senior Vice President

Description of Work:

Interview at UCLA Haskell Ward

Biographical Information
Haskell Sears Ward
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Mar/13/1940
Gender: male
Place of Origin: United States

Griffin, Georgia, where Haskell Sears Ward was born in 1940 is such an iconic small southern town that it has featured in several films, including Academy Award winners Driving Miss Daisy and Mississippi Burning, about the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers.

By then, Ward had become active in the civil rights movement himself, as a student at Clark College in Atlanta, 40 miles away. Shaped by the inequities he saw in segregated Griffin, he was also, in the way of small towns, taught personal responsibility. His pastor and sixth-grade teacher demoted him from head of the safety patrol when he slapped one of his patrol members. The shopkeeper for whom his mother worked as a maid – one of the few whites he knew before meeting his roommates in Peace Corps training at UCLA – fired him from his grocery delivery job when he skipped out to watch a parade.

The twin lessons that work is serious and that authority should not be abused have guided him ever since. He retains a fondness for Griffin, which has returned the affection. Today the street on which he grew up is called Haskell Ward Drive.

Ward’s 40 years of experience in public and international affairs reflect those early influences. Whether facilitating major African infrastructure investment projects or developing U.S. policy toward Africa at the State Department, he has been guided by a belief that building sustainable societies means addressing problems creatively and aggressively,through multiple means.

His engagements include serving as vice chair of the board of the Corporate Council on Africa, as chair of the American Cancer Society’s Global Health Advisory Board and as an advisor to the National Peace Corps Association. He has testified before the sub-committee on Africa and global health of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. Congress and is in demand as a speaker by business schools,universities and conferences.

Ward is married to Leah Ward Sears, an attorney who was the first woman and youngest person to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia. In 2005, she became the first African American woman to be a Chief Justice in the United States.

For nearly a decade Ward was an officer in Global Alumina, a major energy and mining company.  He was responsible for managing the company’s relationships with key government officials and non-governmental organizations including the United Nations, USAID and the World Bank,and he championed the company’s social investments in mining communities and along the railway lines that took ore to port.

Before his corporate work, he served under the Carter Administration’s Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. With the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ward was the responsible officer on the Policy Planning Staff for the development and oversight of the Department’s Africa policies. Following that, he served as Deputy Mayor of the City of New York in the administration of Edward Koch.

Dealing with the challenges and opportunities in urban America complemented a professional life in which Africa has remained the uniting thread. The year before joining one of the first Peace Corps groups and being posted to Ethiopia in 1963, Ward was a volunteer in Kenya with anon-governmental organization, Operation Crossroads Africa, for which he later became a staff member.

He subsequently worked for the Ford Foundation, in New York City and in Lagos, Nigeria, where he specialized in economic development programs and strategies for the Middle East and Africa. His 1989 book African Development Reconsidered explored the barriers to economic progress and the possibilities of surmounting them. His current work brings him full circle.

As Senior Vice President of SEACOM, he has cultivated the relationships among company officials,investors and regulators that enabled the firm in July of 2009 to launch the first sub-marine fiber optics system linking eastern and southern Africa with Europe and Asia. Widespread access to communications technologies will prove transformation moment for the continent Ward says – a way to directly address the inherent inequity of Africa’s marginalization, as well as a path towards prosperity.



The New Global Crossroads in Africa - November 2011

Fostering Africa's Emergence as a Global Economic Powerhouse - April 2011

A Presentation on Non Communicable Diseases at the CCA - October 2010

African Business - A New Opportunity and Blueprint For America - February 2010



AllAfrica: Social Benefit of Investment Good for Business

UCLA (YouTube)

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People :  Haskell Sears Ward

Senior vice president of SEACOM, with more than 50 years of experience in international affairs.

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Author: tesseymurphy
Fri Feb 19 12:27:33 2010

This post was deleted because it contravenes AllAfrica's commenting guidelines.

Author: becnett
Sat Jul 24 17:51:50 2010

Mr. Ward is from my home town of Griffin, Georgia. I was raised in the same area as Haskell and all residence of Griffin love him. I knew Haskell was very special years ago when he was doing work in African, though I had no idea of all his attributes.

It is a blessing to be able to Google the name of someone you know and finds so many wonderful things that have been said, and are being said about the person. Haskell I am Lynette Harris...Yvonne and you were raised across the yard from me. … [Read Full Text]

Author: sdharris3235
Thu Sep 2 00:24:08 2010

It soothes my heart to hear of Haskell Sears Ward taking on such a task during the 60's. I was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia as well and I know that the resources had to have been limited. I was actually born in '66 so I have to imagine all that he endured to ensure peace for others. I hope to some day meet Mr. Sears Ward and shake his hand as I would hear my Mother speak of him in such positive ways. She had newspaper clippings, photos, and personal conversations with his Mother. She would speak of… [Read Full Text]

Author: glorybaby102
Fri Apr 1 02:30:24 2011

This post was deleted because it contravenes AllAfrica's commenting guidelines.

Author: mwangipatricia
Tue Jun 21 06:24:28 2011

My name is Pat Mwangi (nee Pat Mugo) from Nairobi, Kenya. When Haskell came to Kenya in 1962 I was at Alliance Girls High School and joined the Peace Corps group to do some social work at a place called Naivasha. We corresponded for a long time after he returned to the United States and it is great to hear of him.

Author: jasojong
Fri Nov 4 02:57:43 2011

Congratulations Mr. Ward for your years of sevices and inspiration to all African American. You will forever be our mentor, role model and symbol of success to all humanity. You have demonstrated that all is possible with hard work,foresight , patience and persistence. Thank you very much for your keen promotion of things dealing with the development of the African continent.


Jasper Ojongtambia BS,MS.MBA, MFE NYU-POLY Alum & Adjunct Prof.

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