Wes Moore, a combat veteran, bestselling author, small business owner, Rhodes Scholar and former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations, has devoted his life’s work to a basic principle: no matter your start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed – a job you can raise a family on, a future you can look forward to.
Wes was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, to Joy and Westley Moore. When Wes was just three years old, his father died of a rare, but treatable virus. His father’s untimely death created instability in young Wes’ life, causing his mom to move the family to the Bronx, where Wes’ grandparents lived.
The family returned to Maryland when Wes was 14, when Wes’ mom found a job in Baltimore – the first job that paid her benefits.
Wes graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and then Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. As a teenager, he interned for former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and then went on to earn a Rhodes Scholarship, which took him to Oxford University.
Inspired by his mentors at military school, Wes went on to serve as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan. He also served as a White House Fellow, advising on issues of national security and international relations.
Upon returning home, Wes wrote “The Other Wes Moore,” a story about the fragile nature of opportunity in America, which became a perennial New York Times bestseller. It’s commonly assigned reading in Maryland schools. Wes went on to write other best-selling books that reflect on issues of race, equity and opportunity, including his latest book “Five Days,” which tells the story of Baltimore in the days that followed the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.
It was Wes’ commitment to taking on our toughest challenges that brought him to the Robin Hood foundation, where he served for four years as CEO. During his tenure, the Robin Hood foundation distributed over $600 million toward lifting families out of poverty, including here in Maryland.
While the Robin Hood foundation is headquartered in New York City, Wes and his family never moved from their home in Baltimore.
Earlier in his career, Wes built and launched a Baltimore-based business called BridgeEdU, which reinvents freshman year of college for underserved students to increase their likelihood of long-term success. BridgeEdu was acquired by the Brooklyn-based student financial success platform, Edquity, in 2018. He has also worked in finance with Deutsche Bank in London and with Citigroup in New York.
Of the many titles Wes has held over the years, there are two that he’s most proud of: husband and father. Wes and his wife Dawn live with their two children in Baltimore City.