The Best of TED Talks: Freeman Hrabowski & Mellody Hobson



During his 20-year run as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Freeman Hrabowski has transformed a young university into a research institution recognized as one of the most innovative in the country. His goal: continue building a campus that’s first-rate in research and instruction, and that prepares students of all backgrounds for success.

Hrabowski cofounded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program for high-achieving minority students in science and engineering; the program has become a national model. Hrabowski frequently writes about minority participation and performance in these areas. He advises President Obama on educational issues and consults for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Academies. A tireless educator, leader and mentor, Hrabowski was named one of world’s most influential people in 2012 by Time magazine.


Mellody Hobson is the President of  Chicago-based Ariel Investments, one of the largest African-American-owned money management firms in the United States. Beyond her work at Ariel, Hobson has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News, contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and writes a column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt study, 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities.
Mellody is also chair of the board for DreamWorks Animation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, providing Chicago teens with high quality out-of-school-time programs.

Courtesy of 2015