What’s Your WHY? 

Charting a Course for Personal and Professional Success

Craig Thompson


Day one Keynote




Craig Thompson is a native of Baltimore City and a graduate of Maryland public schools. An only child raised by a single mother, he graduated from the University of Maryland and earned two Bachelor of Arts Degrees: one in Political Science, and a second Degree in African-American Studies. He is also a 1995 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law.

Over the years, Craig has received a number of awards and recognition for his accomplishments. He was featured twice in the Baltimore Business Journal as one of 40 emerging leaders under the age of 40 in the state of Maryland. He was profiled in Jubilee magazine as one of Baltimore’s “Talented Tenth,” and received an “Emerging Leader” award from The Monumental City Bar Association. Craig also received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Maryland at College Park, the “Leadership in Law” award from the Daily Record and the “Alumnus of the Year” award from the University of Maryland School of Law BLSA.


Craig is a partner with Venable LLP, one of The American Lawyer's top 100 law firms in the country. Venable has over 800 attorneys, and offices located all across the country.

Craig is published in two books, an anthology entitled Atonement: The Million Man March, and another titled Tough Love: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur. His first children’s book, The ABCs of Black History: A Children’s Guide, was published in January 2005 and is in its fourth printing. Two years later, he published another book in the series, “The ABCs of Black Inventors.” He initially wrote the children's books as gifts to his children, and soon realized that all toddlers and youth need to be exposed to the positive contributions of African Americans. His books have been sold all over the world, and continue to be requested by schools, churches, hospitals and libraries.


For several years, Craig hosted a weekly radio show, “The Front Page,” and was named one of the best radio hosts in the region. For six years, he also hosted a weekly television talk show, “Profiles with Craig Thompson,” on channel 24 in Baltimore. Craig and his wife, Deborah, are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Delaney (17) and Dana (15), and a handsome son, Carter(10), who all attend McDonogh School.



The UCR Staff Conference is a two-day event created by and for UC Riverside staff, co-hosted by UCR Staff AssemblyLeaders of Excellence and Distinction (LEAD), and Human Resources Employee and Organizational Development.


Our 2023 event will include three official tracks: driving your career forwardself care / mental wellness; and creating & nurturing a culture of respect.


The conference will take place virtually on Crowdcast on Tuesday, March 28 and Wednesday, March 29, 2023.


View the full schedule here, and register here.

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