Speaker

commencement keynote Speaker

 

CONGRESSMAN MARK WALKER
6th District of North Carolina

 

After sixteen years of serving as a pastor, Mark Walker followed a new calling and launched an improbable campaign for Congress. With no political pedigree or capital, he built a grassroots campaign that centered on a simple idea: PEOPLE OVER POLITICS. Like many voters, Walker had grown frustrated with Washington’s failed promises and their business as usual approach.

By God’s grace, Walker was successful. Throughout a primary, a run-off and general election in 2014, Walker was tested, attacked and outspent; however, he refused to engage in mudslinging politics and chose to lead a positive campaign, focusing on hope, opportunity and solutions.

With a passion to make a difference and a heart for all communities, Walker was sworn-in January 2015 and immediately became an acclaimed leader on Capitol Hill, fighting to prevent the return of earmarks, cut wasteful spending and bring accountability to government bureaucracy. He became a champion for school choice and opportunities for children, working to remove Washington from our classrooms, and has ushered policies that improve veterans’ care and services, closing hundreds of cases throughout North Carolina.

He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, the Chairman of the Prayer Caucus and formerly the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee – the largest conservative caucus in the House, a leadership position also formerly held by Walker’s friends Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Vice President Mike Pence.

He is recognized as a bridge-builder and a thought leader under the banner of “effective conservatism.” Walker has earned the high praise of the President and Vice President, working with the administration to pass tax reform; anti-human trafficking bills, criminal justice reform and measures to build back our military.

Before 2014, Walker served in various pastoral roles including executive and senior pastor positions. For six seasons, he produced and directed the annual Greensboro Christmas Spectacular. Walker has also served as a guest lecturer on mentorship and administration at Liberty University. Along with international work, Walker served in our nation’s larger inner cities hosting music and sports camps for underprivileged communities.

Originally from Florida where his father pastored for many years, Walker moved to North Carolina in 1991, working in finance management for the Flow Automotive organization and graduating from Piedmont International University. Walker’s wife, Kelly, is a family nurse practitioner and flight trauma specialist with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where she helped launch the S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program at Wake. Kelly holds her undergraduate and masters from Winston-Salem State University. Mark and Kelly have three children and are celebrating twenty-six years of marriage.