University Announces Commencement Speakers

This year’s commencement speakers include Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno, S.J., American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Alan Leshner, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (GRD ’74) and former CEO and Chairman of America Online Steve Case, the university announced Thursday.

Consolmagno will speak at the commencement ceremony for the Georgetown College. His research draws connections between meteorites and asteroids and he is a curator of the Vatican meteorite collection. Consolmagno has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society, the International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences.

Leshner will address seniors graduating from the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Prior to working at AAAS, he served as the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the deputy director and acting director of the Natinoal Institute of Mental Health. Leshner’s research spans across the fields of behavioral biology, science and technology policy, science education and public engagement with science.

The School of Foreign Service commencement ceremony will feature Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense from December 2006 to July 2011, as the only person to be invited to stay in that position by a newly elected president. Gates previously served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He has received such honors as the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Case will speak at the graduation exercises for the McDonough School of Business. He co-founded AOL, the first Internet company to go public, in 1985. Case is chairman of the Case Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurialism as a tool to strengthen the social sector.

Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew (LAW ’83) will speak at the McCourt School of Public Policy ceremony. Additionally, Yale University philosophy professor Seyla Benhabib will address graduates of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and President and CEO of the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association Roger Ferguson, Jr. will speak at the MBA ceremony. Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design Marilyn Taylor Jordan will speak at the School of Continuing Studies graduation exercises.

Georgetown Law Center Adjunct Professor Kenneth Feinberg will speak at the Law Center ceremony. Author and journalist Joan Biskupic will also receive an honorary degree from the Law Center, although she will not give an address during the ceremony. Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation President George Thibault will speak at the ceremony for the School of Medicine.

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