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Childhood photo of Dr. Knatokie Ford

MY STORY

Purpose, passion, and love can propel us to places where we achieve what previously felt impossible. In service of something bigger than ourselves, we can be empowered to endure circumstances that seem unbearable. Living boldly is not about acquiring accolades or material possessions; it’s about being brave enough to be true to ourselves. It’s about taking full ownership of whatever contribution we want to make to this world. Our accomplishments don’t define us, but they are tools we can use to carry out our life’s mission.

A KID FROM AKRON

Dr. Knatokie Ford and her parents

1981

Born in Akron, OH.

Dr. Knatokie Ford 1999 High School grad

1999

Graduated from Kenmore High School as Valedictorian. Received a full-ride scholarship to Clark Atlanta University to study chemistry in an accelerated 5-year BS/MS program.

1st Att Miss CAU 2002 Dr. Knatokie Ford

2002

Elected 1st Attendant Miss Clark Atlanta University.

2004 CAU graduation Dr. Knatokie Ford

2004

Graduated with honors from Clark Atlanta University and began a PhD program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University.

Dr. Knatokie Ford 2005 Hollywood headshot

2005

Took a leave of absence from Harvard after one semester and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Quickly discovered I was not about the “starve to be an actor” life, and decided to work as a substitute teacher.

Dr. Knatokie Ford as a teacher 2006

2006

After a transformative experience teaching in LAUSD for over a year, I returned to Harvard with a new perspective.

2011 Harvard graduation Dr. Knatokie Ford

2011

Completed my PhD and was selected to serve as Commencement Marshal in recognition of my work as a student leader. Began a postdoctoral fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center while applying for science policy programs.

2012 AAAS Dr. Knatokie Ford

2012

Obtained a 2-year AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the White House Office of Science and Technology with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Dr. Knatokie Ford at the White House with parents 2014

2014

Gave my parents their first tour of the West Wing. Had to cut it short because President Obama needed to use the Oval Office, which was simultaneously amazing and disappointing.

Dr. Knatokie Ford at Paramount Studios 2014

2014

AAAS Fellowship ended, and I decided to take a leap of faith to pursue my media and STEM passion, pitching my idea to several media companies.

White Houser presentation on STEM 2015 Dr. Knatokie Ford

2015

 After over 100 informational interviews (which helped me amass an extensive media network!), I returned to the White House as a Senior Policy Advisor to incubate and implement what became known as the “Image of STEM” project.

Dr. Knatokie Fors with Katherine Johnson 2015

2015

Had the honor of meeting Katherine Johnson when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Dr. Knatokie Ford live from the White House 2016

2016

Co-hosted live desk for final Obama White House Science Fair.

White House panel Dr. Knatokie Ford 2016

2016

As my last official event as an Obama White House staffer, I co-organized a historic screening of the film Hidden Figures and moderated a panel with the cast and creative team.

2017 Shero Award nominee Dr. Knatokie Ford - Albert Evangelista

2017

Nominated for Shero award in inaugural Women’s Choice Awards.

2017 Regis Dr. Knatokie Ford

2017

Received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Regis College.

Dr. Knatokie Ford Featured on CBS The Talk 2018

2018

Featured in CBS Women’s History Month PSA.

Dr. Knatokie Ford in Africa 2018

2018

Selected by U.S. State Department to participate in the international speakers program, going on a 2-week speaking tour in two countries in Africa —Namibia and Swaziland.

Dr. Knatokie Ford at the 2019 Barbie You Can Be Anything Campaign

2019

Served on Barbie Global Advisory Board.

Dr. Knatokie Ford at the 2020 SAGawards

2020

Was a SeeHer silver carpet correspondent at the 2020 SAG Awards.

Dr. Knatokie Ford 2022 Wondrium

2022

Featured in Wondrium “STEM for All” series.