Ted Howard

Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative

Washington, DC

Ted is a social entrepreneur and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative and served as the Minter Senior Fellow for Social Justice with the Cleveland Foundation from 2010-2014.  For more than 30 years, he has worked for non-profit organizations including UN agencies and The Hunger Project.

Since 2001, Ted has served as chairman of the board of Search for Common Ground, a conflict resolution NGO. He is chairman of the board of ocean advocacy group Blue Frontier Campaign, and a board member of LIFT, a national anti-poverty organization. In the early 1970s, he co-directed The People’s Bicentennial Commission with Jeremy Rifkin, and in 1977 the pair co-founded the Foundation of Economic Trends.

Ted is the architect of the green jobs and wealth building program in Cleveland, Ohio, known as the Evergreen Cooperatives, based in part on the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Region of Spain. Characterized in press accounts as “The Cleveland Model,” Evergreen is an effort to create green jobs in low-income neighborhoods using the purchasing power of the City’s anchor institutions (hospitals, universities, etc.) to create local worker cooperative businesses. The program has received international attention from media outlets including The Economist, Al Jazeera, BusinessWeek, and Time.

Ted has co-authored several books with economist Jeremy Rifkin, including Entropy: A New World View, Voices of the American Revolution, and Who Should Play God?. While at The Hunger Project, he and Dana Meadows et al. co-wrote Ending Hunger: An Idea Whose Time has Come.  He and the Democracy Collaborative’s research director Steve Dubb have collaborated on a number of articles with political economist Gar Alperovitz, most recently “The Cleveland Model,” which appeared in The Nation, and “Cleveland’s Worker-Owned Boom” in Yes Magazine. Howard is also the co-author of the Democracy Collaborative reportsThe Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs and The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth.

In 2010, Utne Reader magazine named Ted as one of the “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” for his foundation of the Democracy Collaborative. He was named an Innovative Idea Champion in 2010 by CFED.