Dr. Daniel E. Walker

A proud product of Head Start, public schools, and the Inland Empire (Go Steelers!), Dr. Daniel E. Walker is an innovation guru and one of the world’s most compelling public speakers. Thriving at the intersections of the arts, entertainment, culture, and commerce, he is the founder of the Long Beach Indie International Film & Entertainment Festival, presented in collaboration with the US Department of Commerce, and serves on the boards of the Heritage Music Foundation, The California Endowment, and the BLU Educational Foundation.


One of the nation’s most prolific public historians, Dr. Walker is a global leader in the movement to collect, preserve, and celebrate the history of Black Gospel Music and the African American church. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans, founding director of the Gospel Music History Archive (University of Southern California), and Co-curator of major exhibits at the California African American Museum and the University of Southern California. A respected television and film producer, his How Sweet the Sound: Gospel in Los Angeles (KCET) won a Golden Mike Award from the Radio, Television, and News Association of Southern California and a Southern California Journalism Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, both for Best Entertainment Reporting. 


Dr. Walker is a champion of wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for women, middle America, and communities of color. Informed by his experiences as project manager at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director of the Tijuana/San Diego Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and three-year W.K. National Leadership Fellowship centered on inclusive community development in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean, he provides wisdom and insight to growth stage companies, venture funds, and some of the world’s largest institutional investors. He is also working to create a national pipeline of diverse, ethical, people and planet-centered financial professionals who beat the market. 


Dr. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University where he was also elected president of the Student Government Association, an M.A. in Latin American History (with distinction) from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Latin American and African American History from the University of Houston. In 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University for his global contributions to arts, design, and innovation. 

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