From the South Side to the State HouseDeval has devoted his life to lifting the voices of others. Born on the South Side of Chicago, he lived with his grandparents, his mother, and his sister in their grandparents’ two bedroom tenement, much of that time on welfare. Through the love and support of family, great teachers, adults in the neighborhood and in church, he became the first in his family to attend college and law school.
After law school, he joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and led the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As the Assistant Attorney General, he coordinated the investigation of arson at black churches across the South.
Deval has always been called to service, but that service has not always been in the public sector. He led reforms at Texaco, where a court appointed him to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace, and at Coca-Cola, where he stood up for employees and unions.
In 2006, completing one of the most extraordinary political journeys the state of Massachusetts had ever seen, he won a landslide victory to become Massachusetts’ first black Governor. Serving from 2007-2015, he used his time in the State House to pull together disparate factions to achieve lasting reform. By the end of his second term, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in energy efficiency, first in health care coverage, and first in student achievement. After ranking 47th in the nation for job creation, Massachusetts grew to a 25-year employment high. It became a global center for life sciences, biotech, clean tech, and advanced manufacturing.
After he left office, Deval joined Bain Capital to launch an impact investing fund. This new fund, Bain Capital Double Impact, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into mission-driven companies that target both social and environmental good. His life has always been about rejecting false choices, and his new fund was meant to show that private companies can be a force for public good.
Throughout his time in public office and in the private sector, he has been a leader in developing solutions to the challenges we continue to face as a country: climate change, health care, the future of work and innovation.