Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, FAMU’s Fall Commencement speaker, has direct ties to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. All three of Mayor Deming’s sons’ are FAMU alumni.
Demings is a native of Orlando and had the distinction of serving as the city’s first African-American police chief from 1998 to 2002. He was also elected as the first African-American Orange County Sheriff in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.
Demings is married to former Orlando Police Chief Valdez B. Demings, who is the first female police chief in the history of Orlando. In November 2016 she was elected to Congress and now represents Florida Congressional District 10.
On August 28, 2018, Sheriff Demings was elected the first African American Mayor of Orange County. He was sworn in as mayor on December 4, and becomes the chief executive of a county with more than 8,000 county employees and a budget of more than $4 billion.
Demings is a graduate of Orlando’s Jones High School and has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida State University and earned a Master of Business Administration from Orlando College, which is now Everest University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and is listed in “Who’s Who Among College Students.” He is a graduate of the 194th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and studied at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Demings has been recognized by Orlando Magazine as one of the 50 most influential Central Floridians each year since 2009 and has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel many years as one of the 25 most influential persons in the area. His leadership has been evident during crises such as the events of 9/11, the Florida hurricanes of 2004, the Casey Anthony trial of 2009-2010, and the June 12, 2016 Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting.