By Ryan Yauney
Ahmad Corbitt is a director in the public affairs department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the former director of the Church’s New York office of public and international affairs. He received a BA in sociology from Richard Stockton college of New Jersey and a law degree from Rutgers University and has been a regular moderator and lecturer on religious freedom, interfaith relations, and public affairs. Before that, he was a trial lawyer, vice president, and general counsel of a New York public communications firm and did extensive public relations work for the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. Ahmad is a member of the bars of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and is a member of the Marriott School’s National Advisory Council. He is also one of the 2014 recipients of the Norman Vincent Peel award for positive thinking, an award whose prior recipients include Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell. A former stake president and mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he and his wife Jane are the parents of six children.
As a guest on the Marriott Student Review podcast, Measuring Success Right, Ahmad speaks about the important role that inspiration played in his life. As a boy growing up in West Philadelphia, Ahmad did not originally plan to become a public affairs director or study law. During the podcast, Ahmad shares the impressions he and his wife received that led him to the career he enjoys today and the various experiences he has had throughout his work with the Church.
One of the most important lessons Ahmad has learned in his work is how to respond to hatred. Ahmad explains, “I typically try to deal with it with love. When you are cold, turn on the heat. When there is hate, turn on the love. There are all kinds of worldly philosophies on how to do things. . . .You overcome hate with love and tolerance. There are instances, since I’m African American, when I have seen racism. When you respond with love and forgiveness and people perceive that through the gospel, then you have a more powerful position from which to teach people about unity. If you get down in the dirt with people, and you respond in kind, that helps no one and none of it reflects the Savior. It is Him whom we serve, and it is He who gave His life for us, so it is incumbent upon us to try to respond his way.”
More of Ahmad’s story is available online at marriottstudentreview.org and on Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Play, and iTunes under the Measuring Success Right podcast.