Jack L. Harper, an executive with over 27 years of public and private experience in tax law and corporate governance, including at Walmart and Discover, has been selected as the new Vice President, Treasurer, and CFO of the Kettering Foundation.
“We are very pleased to have Jack join us,” said David Mathews, Kettering’s president and CEO. “He brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to the work.”
Harper said his first responsibility will be stewardship of the foundation’s finances, but he is also looking forward to being part of the foundation’s research into the workings of democracy.
“It’s an excellent time to join Kettering and help figure out how democracy should work,” he said. “This is an exceptional opportunity and with the pressing issues of the day, I didn’t want to look in my rearview mirror and think, why did you pass up that opportunity. I really feel that I have to do this.”
Harper most recently was Vice President, Corporate Tax at Discover Financial Services in Riverwoods, Illinois, where he led the Tax Department and oversaw all the company’s tax functions, controls, and activities. He is also formerly a Senior Director with Walmart, where he was responsible for Tax Planning for the company’s US Operations. In addition, he led Walmart’s federal and state tax audit teams and created the company’s Global Tax Controversy Center of Excellence aimed at mitigating worldwide tax audit risks and exposures.
Harper received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina; a Master of Science in taxation from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; and a law degree, with honors, from the School of Law at North Carolina Central University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed attorney, and past Chair of the Tax Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Harper was named to North Carolina’s 2008 Legal Elite, one of North Carolina’s best lawyers, as identified by fellow tax attorneys in the state.
He currently serves on the advisory boards of New York University’s State and Local Tax Institute and Vanderbilt University’s Hartman State and Local Tax Forum. He also serves on the board of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois.
Harper and his wife, Sharon, an attorney for Walmart, have a blended family of three daughters and five grandchildren.