Dr. Richard Oliver Hope
Dr. Richard Oliver Hope was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended secondary school in Nashville, Tennessee where he graduated from Pearl High School and later received his Bachelor‘s degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hope received the Master‘s and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, New York.
After completing his Ph.D., he became Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College. He also became a Research Associate at the Metropolitan Applied Research Center in New York, working with Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, the noted psychologist whose research was instrumental in the 1954 Supreme Court school desegregation decision. While there, Dr. Hope conducted research and authored publications on the condition of the public schools in Harlem, New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Several of these publications led to the first federally-funded poverty program in the United States under President Kennedy.
With the encouragement of L. Howard Bennett, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Defense, Dr. Hope became the first Director of Research and Evaluation for the Defense Race Relations Institute (DRRI). He provided consultation to the DOD from 1969 through 1971, and was permanently appointed in 1972, serving until 1974.
In this position, he was responsible for the creation, administration, and development of human relations research that provided data to test early curriculum materials, and analyses of worldwide intergroup relations in the U.S. military. Dr. Hope wrote Racial Strife in the U.S. Military: Toward the Elimination of Discrimination, which analyzed the early history and impact of DRRI, which became the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).
After leaving DRRI in 1974, Dr. Hope continued his academic career as Full Professor and Chair of Sociology, as well as Director of the National Science Foundation Project at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. In 1982, he became Chair of Sociology and Coordinator of the Liberal Arts Workshop for the Lilly Foundation in Indiana. At that time, he created the Center for International Studies and served as its first Director. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban League. In 1988, he accepted a position at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., where he served as Executive Director of the Quality Education Project in conjunction with the Carnegie Corporation.
In 1990, Dr. Hope received an appointment at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, as Full Professor of Sociology and Senior Vice President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF). While there, he was elected to permanent status on the Council on Foreign Relations and Advisory panel member of The Brookings Institution.
As a faculty member at Princeton University, Dr. Hope taught courses on the Sociology of Education, and served in a variety of positions on campus to include Board of Directors of the Center on African-American Studies. Over the next two decades, while at the WWNFF, he created and directed fellowship programs that emphasized support for under-represented scholars in public policy, international affairs, and post-doctoral studies in the academy.
With the urging and support of President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Dr. Hope created the Public Policy Partnership program (PPP) for South African students to prepare them for high-level government positions in South Africa. In addition, he
developed the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program in 1990 to help United States students to enter Foreign Service and international affairs careers. This program emphasizes the recruitment of individuals to expand demographic diversity in the Foreign Service and continues to the present. Both the Pickering and the PPP programs identify students in their second year of college and support them through the completion of their Master‘s degrees in Public Policy or International Affairs in major universities.