Kenneth R. Sparks

Board Member

Kenneth R. Sparks is President and CEO of Ken Sparks Associates LLC, a management and consulting company specializing in public affairs and economic development. He served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal City Council in Washington, D.C. from 1972 until his retirement in September 2004. Prior to his appointment as the Executive Vice President, he served for two years as the Council’s Executive Director.

During his tenure, the Council played an important role in such diverse efforts as the development of the 110-mile Metro Rapid Rail system, the Union Station redevelopment, the MCI Center, the Washington Convention Center, low and moderate income housing, breakthrough drug treatment programs, the Economic Club of Washington, the establishment of a Police Foundation, and educational reform.

He is currently a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, an adjunct faculty member of the College of William and Mary Law School where he teaches Telecommunications Law and Regulation, a director of the Center for International Private Enterprise and serves on several non-profit boards, including the Washington Hospital Center Foundation. He is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association.

From 1988 to 1991, Sparks directed a Presidential Commission to oversee development of the International Trade Center at the Ronald Reagan Building. He also chaired a METRO task force to develop a funding plan for capital improvements. Sparks was one of the founders of the Economic Club of Washington and served as its Secretary from 1986 to 2004. Concurrent with his tenure at the Council, Sparks taught at the Virginia Commonwealth University and the American University between 1970 and 1981.

Prior to joining the Council, Sparks was Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity and served in several positions with the U.S. Information Agency, including Research Director for the Voice of America and Director of European Research. Sparks served on active duty as a Public Information Officer and Naval Aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1957 to 1960, flying the F8-U Crusader.

A native of Niagara Falls, New York,  Sparks holds multiple degrees, including a Ph.D. in international communication from Syracuse University, as well as a J.D. from George Washington University.

Sparks was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1987 and has received many other honors, including The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s Globe and Anchor Award, and President’s Medals from both Syracuse and the George Washington University. In 2004, he received Syracuse’s highest honor, the Arents Award. He is an avid golfer, pianist, vocalist and composer of both popular and classical music.