Dr. Bernard E. Anderson, a nationally respected economist, is the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Professor Emeritus, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA., and Senior Fellow, Center for Human Resources.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, he pursued a diverse professional career in academia, public service, and philanthropy. After graduating summa cum laude from Livingstone College, Salisbury, N. C., he earned an M.A. degree from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, both in economics. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Wharton School and rose through the ranks to full professor with tenure, the first African American to do so. He was the second African American ever appointed to the Wharton School faculty, following his professor and mentor, the late Dr. Andrew F. Brimmer.
During his career, Dr. Anderson took leave to serve as Director of Social Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation; Visiting Fellow, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; and through appointment by Gov. Robert P. Casey, the first Chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, (PICA) the fiscal oversight board for the City of Philadelphia.
In 1993, he was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards Administration, with responsibility for the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers Compensation and the Office of Labor Management Cooperation. Upon return to the Wharton School, he was appointed Whitney M. Young, Jr. Professor of Management, the first endowed chair in a major American university funded by African Americans. He is the author of six books, and numerous scholarly and popular publications on labor markets, economic performance and community economic revitalization.
He is a member of the American Economic Association, a founder and past President of the National Economic Association, and past member of the executive board of the Labor and Employment Research Association.
He was a member of the board of Directors for Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co., the nation’s first mutual insurance company, and currently serves on the board of the United Bank of Philadelphia, the only African-American owned bank in Pennsylvania. He is also a former board member of the Philadelphia Urban League, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
He helped merge the Urban Affairs Partnership and the Philadelphia Urban Coalition to create the Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia’s largest community based organization. Deeply engaged in higher education, he was Chairman of the board of trustees, Lincoln University (PA); member, board of trustees, Livingstone College; and currently, a senior member of the board of trustees, Tuskegee University.
Throughout his career, he has sought ways to eliminate racial inequality in American economic life.