Walter E. Fluker

Title
Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership
Email
wfluker@bu.edu
Phone
(617) 358-4221
Education
Ph.D. Boston University
M.Div. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
B.A. Trinity College

Walter Earl Fluker is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, the editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership (MLK-IDEAL) at Boston University School of Theology. He was founding executive director of the Leadership Center and the Coca-Cola Professor of Leadership Studies at Morehouse College. The founder of VisionQuest International and Walter Earl Fluker and Associates, he is a featured consultant, speaker, lecturer and workshop leader at foundations, businesses, corporations, colleges, universities, governmental and religious institutions, nationally and globally.

Known as an expert in the theory and practice of ethical leadership, Fluker has served on numerous committees and boards, including the Urban League of Rochester, NY; the National Selection Committee for U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Leaders; the Board of Liberal Education (the flagship quarterly for the Association of American Colleges and Universities). Dr. Fluker has served as a consultant and workshop leader for organizations as diverse as Democratic Leadership Council National Conversation, Goldman Sachs, Eastman Kodak, the Department of Education, the Department of State, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and the Georgia State Superintendents’ Association.

His international experience includes serving as consultant to youth development initiatives in Sierra Leone, West Africa and South Africa sponsored by the Ford Foundation; and as lecturer for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Havana, Cuba. He has served as faculty for emerging global leadership at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria; emerging African leaders in the Johannesburg, South African City Council; lecturer for the U.S. Embassy Speaker/Specialist Program in South Africa, Nigeria, India and China; Distinguished Visitor to the International Human Rights Exchange Programme, visiting professor for the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa; works closely with the African Presidential Center at Boston University; and the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race (Birbeck College, University of London and the University of Pretoria, South Africa).

His recent publications include two volumes of a multi-volume series entitled, The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: volume I, My People Need Me and volume II, “Christian, Who Calls Me Christian?” (University of South Carolina Press, 2009, 2012; volume III, “The Bold Adventure: The Fellowship Church,” scheduled 2014; volumes IV and V are in progress.); editor, Educating Ethical Leaders for the Twenty-First Century, Cascade Books, scheduled 2013. Recent articles include, “Looking For Martin: Black Leadership in an Era of Contested Post-Racism and Post-Blackness,” in The Domestication of Martin Luther King, Jr. , edited by Lewis V. Baldwin and Rufus Burrows, Jr., Cascade Books, 2013 and “Leaders Who Have Shaped U.S. Religious Dialogue: Howard Thurman” in Religious Leadership: A Reference Handbook , edited by Sharon Henderson Callahan, Sage Publications, 2013. Fluker is author, Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility and Community (Fortress, 2009) and is completing a manuscript entitled, The Ground Has Shifted: Essays on Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership from African American Moral Traditions.

Fluker is recipient of major awards and grants from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, National Endowment of the Humanities, the National Archives (National Historical Publications and Research Commission), the Lilly Endowment, the Henry Luce Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Goldman Sachs Foundation, J. P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and other charitable and philanthropic organizations.

His prior academic experience includes professorial and administrative positions at Vanderbilt University, Harvard College, Dillard University and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School; and has served as visiting professor and scholar at Harvard University, The University of Cape Town in South Africa, Columbia Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained at Second Baptist Church, Evanston in June, 1980, he served as Pastor of the historic St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts and Dean of the Lawless Memorial Chapel at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He earned a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from Boston University, a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and biblical studies from Trinity College and the Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina. He is married to Dr. Sharon Watson Fluker and is the father of four children and five grandchildren.