Hampton University
HU Alumnus Attorney Paul Harris to give Founder's Day Address
01/16/2015 - #50

Rev. Jerome Barber, the Honorable Molly Joseph Ward, Dr. Gladys Hope Franklin White to receive Presidential Citizenship Award  

Hampton, Va. - Attorney Paul Clinton Harris, Corporate Counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation, will give the keynote address at the 122nd Annual Hampton University Founder's Day ceremony on Jan. 25 at 11:30 a.m. in Ogden Hall. 

During the ceremony, the Presidential Citizenship Award will be presented to the Rev. Dr. Jerome A. Barber, senior pastor at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Joseph Ward and HU alumna Dr. Gladys Hope Franklin White.   


Founder's Day activities will also include the commemorative wreath placing ceremony at the gravesite of the University's founder, Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, in the Hampton University Cemetery at 9:30 a.m.

Harris serves as Corporate Counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he is responsible for managing all legal and regulatory compliance risks on behalf of the company and its global operations.  His work includes international legal and regulatory risk management in Australia, Europe, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Japan.

A native of Charlottesville, Va., Harris earned his B.A. degree in political science from Hampton University in 1986 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. In 1995, Harris earned his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.  Upon graduation, he was hired at McGuire Woods, one of the top law firms in the country, based in Richmond. Two years later, he seized the opportunity to pursue his political interests and ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.  On Nov. 4, 1997, Attorney Harris became the first African-American Republican elected to the Virginia legislature since 1891.  After winning the 1997 election, he served two terms in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Appointed by Congress in 1998 to serve on the 19-member Federal Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, Harris and other Commission members held hearings across the country and recommended to Congress whether internet purchases should be subject to state taxes.  In 2001, he resigned his seat in the Virginia legislature to accept a presidential appointment as Deputy Associate U.S. Attorney General, serving under President George W. Bush.  One of five senior Justice Department lawyers who wrote the regulations for the September 11, 2001 Victim Compensation Program, he was chosen by Attorney General John Ashcroft to be the Justice Department’s point man for the compensation program, responsible for coordinating administration of the program with families of victims, Congressional and Pentagon leaders, state officials in New York, and airline representatives. 


After returning to the private sector in 2003, Harris held various legal positions at Raytheon Company, Ernst & Young, and as a partner in one of the nation’s top law firms.  In 2006, he received Hampton University’s Distinguished 20-Year Alumnus Award. Actively involved in his community, he serves as a member of the Board of Visitors to Mount Vernon; Board of Trustees for The Institute for Responsible Citizenship; and a newly appointed member of the Hampton University Board of Trustees. A strong believer in second chances, he has been involved in faith-based, non-profit organizations such as the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry and Bridge Ministries for over 15 years. Harris is a proud Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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