Thursday, July 09, 2015

WOW! Nuru International CEO Jake Harriman Introduces Former Presidents George W. Bush And Bill Clinton

July 9th at 6PM ET, West Virginia native Jake Harriman gave a speech (starting at 57:30 in the above video) as part of his graduation from the Presidential Leadership Scholars (#PLScholars) Program, and at the conclusion of his speech, he introduced Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for their remarks to the graduating class. Jake is part of the inaugural class of 60 #PLScholars, and over the last few months he and his classmates have been receiving mentorship from these two former Presidents as well as their staff and the staff of former Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George H. W. Bush.

To be accepted as a PLScholar, Jake and his classmates had to go through a rigorous application and interview process, and were charged to identify a key leadership challenge for themselves or for the industries in which they worked. For his challenge, Jake chose to explore what he would need to do to take Nuru into increasingly fragile countries to be able to improve the livelihoods of farmers and their families, and to help make the world a little more secure and safe in the process. Jake has been coming away with a ton of insights that are helping Nuru become a better organization, and helping him to become a better leader. You can read some of those insights here.

And now as Jake graduates from the program, his classmates selected him to give the opening remarks at their graduation and to introduce these two former Presidents. There's an ancient Hebrew proverb that I've been reflecting on a lot lately, "Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men." Jake has shown himself to be skillful in leading Marines, leading Nuru, and now, he has been given this incredible opportunity to stand before two great leaders.

This is a huge moment for Jake and for Nuru, and of course, it is a moment for pride for West Virginia University, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Marine Corps, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, but I believe it is also a great moment for the amazing people of our state. Long before Jake had been part of any of those prestigious institutions, he was growing up to be leader, by the grace of God, through the influences of family and community that he was surrounded by in the Mountain State. If you grew up in West Virginia, you grew up hearing the jokes and the slams when traveling to other places. Jake represents a different West Virginia, a West Virginia that is more accurate to the truth of who we are. He grew up on a small farm, and for him and his siblings, they were learning from parents and neighbors the value of service and hard work, just like many of the rest of us from this great state. West Virginians look out for others. And when one of us does something great on a regional, national, or global stage, it is a victory for all of us. I'm incredibly proud of Jake for being a man on whom this kind of honor can be bestowed. I'm incredibly proud of our Nuru team in Kenya, in Ethiopia, and across the states who have helped bring an idea about ending extreme poverty into reality. But, right now, I am beaming with pride as a West Virginian with other fellow West Virginians as we watch one of our own rise up into the spotlight for just a moment to let the world see what our people are really like. Go Jake! Go Nuru! We are all proud of you!

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