TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former U.S. Congressman Kendrick B. Meek will serve as the keynote speaker for Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. The convocation will be held on Jan. 15 at 10:10 a.m. in FAMU's Gaither Gymnasium.
Meek, a 1989 graduate of FAMU, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Medical Depot (AMD). AMD is one of the largest privately-held, full-line master distributors of medical surgical supplies and equipment. Meek served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1995 to 1998 and in the Florida Senate from 1999 to 2002.
From 2002 to 2010, he represented the 17th Congressional District of Florida. During his time in Congress, Meek served on the House Ways and Means Committee, and was instrumental in sponsoring and passing innovative legislation, which led to the creation of new trade incentives for Haiti.
As the representative of the largest number of Americans of Haitian descent outside of Haiti, Meek has been a leader on issues facing the country, and a leading advocate for the Haiti Diaspora. He was also a co-chairman of the 30-Something Working Group, and was appointed to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. As a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, as well as the House Armed Services Committee, Meek has been very active in foreign policy and international affairs.
In 2007, Meek led a congressional delegation to Chad, Ethiopia and Kenya to examine events in Darfur and U.S. political, security and economic commitments to Africa. He co-sponsored and supported legislation to pressure the government of Sudan, asked the president to take immediate steps to protect civilians in Darfur, and barred the U.S. government from contracting with companies linked to the genocide. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East, engaging in direct dialogue with foreign leaders on international security and trade developments.
In 2011, Meek was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a special representative to the United Nations.
Meek began his career as a state trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol. He later became a captain and was assigned to the security detail traveling with Democratic Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay. Meek currently resides in Miami with his wife, Leslie, and two children, Lauren and Kendrick.