Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., is Founder and Chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute, a new think tank / do tank whose mission is to promote the 4 founding principles which are cornerstones of our country: faith, liberty, community, and life as well as pursue common sense solutions that challenge conventional groupthink. He most recently served as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Carson served as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he assumed when he was just 33 years old, becoming the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history. In 1987, he successfully performed the first separation of craniopagus twins conjoined at the back of the head. He also performed the first fully successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa. Dr. Carson received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and has been awarded over 70 honorary doctorate degrees. The U.S. News Media Group and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership named him among “America’s Best Leaders” in 2008. Dr. Carson and his wife, Candy Carson, co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. The organization has awarded more than 10,000 scholars and more than $8 million in scholarships. Carson Scholars is currently operating in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and since its founding, has installed more than 250 Ben Carson Reading Rooms around the country. Born in Detroit to a single mother with a 3rd grade education who worked multiple jobs to support their family, Dr. Carson was raised to love reading and education. He has authored many books, four of which he co-wrote with his wife Candy. Recently, Dr. Carson wrote his first children’s book, Why America Matters, to teach kids about our important American values. Dr. Carson graduated from Yale University and earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. He and his wife are proud parents and grandparents.