John B. Harris Jr. is a retired senior banker and executive of Deutsche Bank (including the predecessor firm of Bankers Trust) where he worked for twenty-nine years in investment and merchant banking.
Mr. Harris spent his banking career in global finance where he had a record of success in building and managing businesses on five continents. He has broad expertise in global banking, emerging markets, risk management, compliance, regulatory affairs, international trade, structured finance, cross-border lending, cash management and African markets. Mr. Harris has extensive managerial experience in business origination, portfolio management, transaction management, asset distribution and advisory services. His clients were financial institutions, corporates, governments and NGOs.
Mr. Harris conducted business “on the ground” in over 60 countries and transacted business with entities located in over 180 countries. His career highlights include spearheading his firm’s re-entry into South Africa after the end of apartheid and establishing a global risk management, compliance and regulatory affairs group to address risks in a post-9/11 world and 21st century economy. He was based in New York, London and Johannesburg and had long-term assignments in Lagos and Frankfurt.
Mr. Harris has committed his post-banking career to public service and education. Currently, Mr. Harris is serving his fifth term as a Manhattan Community Board Five (CB5) member and New York City official appointed by the Manhattan Borough President. He addresses, advises and votes on economic, financial, social, educational, regulatory and urban issues facing midtown Manhattan and New York City. In addition, Mr. Harris works closely with community, civic, business and government leaders at all levels. He is an alternate board member of the Union Square Partnership which oversees and funds the maintenance, improvement and promotion of the Union Square neighborhood and commercial district in New York City. Furthermore, Mr. Harris has been a campaign field organizer with public policy expertise and operational experience in highly competitive elections at the presidential, national, state and local levels.
Mr. Harris serves on the board of the Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute (RCHLI) of Virginia Union University's Sidney Lewis School of Business which prepares and develops students to become leaders, scholars and lifelong learners. He is a member of the Harvard Schools & Scholarships Committee which recruits and evaluates applicants to Harvard College. Additionally, Mr. Harris has been a guest speaker at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government (BSG) where he has also been designated a mentor in the BSG Mentoring Programme for Master of Public Policy degree students. He has been a Pace University professor of public administration and an executive education trainer. On an ongoing basis, Mr. Harris addresses issues facing the New York City Public School System as a board member of the aforementioned CB5.
Mr. Harris is a co-founder and former chair of The Harriman Cup Inc. which is a Yale University and University of Virginia affiliated nonprofit corporation that funds collegiate athletics. He is also a co-founder of Harvard University’s undergraduate economics organization and its journal. In addition, he has broad experience of over forty years as a nonprofit board member, officer, advisor, fundraiser and volunteer in the social services, civil rights and education fields.
The professional recognitions of Mr. Harris include a lifetime service award for his contributions to the economic growth of Ghana, a Trade Finance magazine deal of the year award for the most innovative Latin American transaction and an appointment to the Switzerland based Wolfsberg Group committee that drafted the Wolfsberg Group Anti-Money Laundering Principles for Correspondent Banking in response to the events of 9/11
The academic honors of Mr. Harris include his selection to serve as both a Harvard University commencement class marshall and convocation marshall, his initiation into the University of Virginia’s Raven Society and his recognition by the University of Virginia’s Society of Artemis as its Bethune-Roosevelt Award recipient.
Mr. Harris has an A.B. degree, cum laude in economics, from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.