WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following an extensive search process, today Richard L. Clemmons, Jr. started as the Chief Operating Officer of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.   

Richard L Clemmons Jr

Richard L Clemmons Jr.

Clemmons comes to the Joint Center with a wealth of leadership and managerial experience, having spent over twenty years as an officer in the United States Navy. In that capacity, he served as the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 31, where he trained, developed, and motivated 2,000 personnel on eight ships deployed to Southeast Asia. He also served as the Commanding Officer of the USS Roosevelt (a warship of 31 officers and 282 enlisted personnel), transformed his ship from a satisfactory (75%) to outstanding (95%+) rating by focusing crew on superior standards, and won the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership. Clemmons also worked for three years in the Department of the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs securing support for critical ship/submarine building program goals.

For the past three years, Clemmons served as the Vice President and Chief of Staff at UNCF, where he played a critical role in the transformation of the 70-year-old civil rights organization. Clemmons reorganized the management process to allow leadership to better monitor organization-wide performance, and led a team that secured UNCF’s single largest gift in the last 10 years.

Clemmons is a graduate of both Florida A&M University (BS in Business Administration) and Auburn University (MPA).

“Rich joining our team in a leadership role is a pivotal moment in our rebuilding of the Joint Center,” said Joint Center President Spencer Overton. “His mastery of strategic planning, operations, and literally running a ‘tight ship’ is essential as we most effectively and efficiently marshal the resources entrusted to us to implement our mission. Rich is a dynamic and inspiring leader who is committed to the development of each of our team members. Also, Rich has a deep commitment to serving others, as exhibited by his service to our nation and our community. I am so grateful and excited to work with him.”

“We are thrilled to have Rich join us. His track record of distinguished leadership and commitment to public service make him an ideal choice to serve as the Joint Center’s Chief Operating Officer,” said Joint Center Board Chair Barbara Johnson. “Rich’s skills and talents are needed more than ever in the not for profit community. Fortunately for us, he has chosen to work with the Joint Center to help us achieve our critical mission of helping to improve the lives of people of color.” 

“I am excited about this opportunity to join the Joint Center and work with Spencer Overton and the talented team he has assembled. I hope to build upon the excellent work that those before us have done to address the issues impacting communities of color. I am fortunate to be joining such a respected organization that prides itself on conducting top quality service,” said Clemmons.