Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode Sr.

Board Chair

Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode Sr. is the President and CEO of Amachi Inc., a nationally acclaimed faith-based program for mentoring children of incarcerated parents; and Board Chair of SELF Inc. – a nonprofit dedicated to serving homeless men and women. Goode is also Chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation. He is a Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of his innovative work with the Amachi, he received the Civic Ventures Purpose Prize and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Citizen of the Year Award.

Goode was an officer in the U.S. Army where he received a commendation medal for his outstanding leadership. As President of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, he led groundbreaking work in faith-based housing for low- and moderate-income persons. And, he was the first African-American member and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission which he led during the Three Mile Island nuclear incident in 1978. He broke racial barriers again with his appointment as Managing Director for Philadelphia. He became the city’s first African-American mayor in 1984 and served two terms. He subsequently spent seven years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

He is an emeritus board member and former Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Independence Region, and an emeritus board member of the Free Library of Philadelphia. He is also former Chair of Partners for Sacred Places and the Cornerstone Christian Academy. He is an emeritus board member of America’s Promise Alliance, a board member of Community In Schools of Philadelphia and a trustee of Eastern University. He is an emeritus board member and former chairman of Leadership Foundations, and trustee of Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School.

Goode led the construction of 2,000 housing units for low- and moderate-income families in the 1960s and ‘70s. He is responsible for reshaping the city’s appealing skyline. Goode created the first homeless program by any city in the country, the first HIV/AIDS program in the country, the first literacy commission established in the mayor’s office and Philadelphia’s minority set-aside program.

He is known for appointing more Blacks to management positions than the first 94 mayors combined over 300 years. He assisted at least six Black businesses in reaching million-dollar status. Goode increased contracts to Blacks and women from less than 1 million to more than 50 million in his first four years in office.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, a doctorate of ministry from the Palmer Theological Seminary and 15 conferred honorary doctorates. Goode is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.