2011 Commencement speakers

University-wide Commencement Speaker

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will give the keynote address at this year’s University-wide Commencement ceremony. Bloomberg has pushed for crime reduction, education reforms and other initiatives in the city over the past decade since his election in 2001. Noted for his philanthropy, Bloomberg will receive an honorary doctorate for public service.

School Graduation Ceremonies

Michael Griffin will speak at the ceremony for the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Griffin, who served as the administrator of NASA under former President George W. Bush, has held various positions in the space and aeronautics field.

Prior to serving as NASA Administrator, Griffin headed the space department at Johns Hopkins University and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and GW.

Local public school teacher Matthew Tosiello will speak at the ceremony for the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. The 2007 graduate teaches at Randolph Elementary School, where he was named Arlington Public Schools’ 2011 Teacher of the Year.

“The field of education is rapidly changing and I am immersed in it daily,” Tosiello said.?”I hope to articulate what the class of 2011 can expect and also mix in some practical advice.”

Lori Garver, deputy administrator for NASA, will speak at the ceremony for the Elliott School of International Affairs. As NASA’s deputy administrator, she is the organization’s second-in-command. She was appointed by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by Congress to take over the position in July 2009.

Garver, who earned a master’s degree in science, technology and public policy from the Elliott School in 1989, has had an extensive career in both the political and scientific realm.

Both excited and nervous to speak at commencement, Garver plans to highlight what she learned during her master’s program in her speech.

“I chose the topic because I utilize what I learned in the program so often,” Garver said. “Not only the contacts I made during that program, but the history and basis of knowledge has been critical in my career.”

Leading plastic and craniofacial surgeon Dr. William Magee, Jr. will speak at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ commencement ceremony. In 1982, Magee and his wife founded Operation Smile, a worldwide medical charity that provides free surgeries for children with severe cleft conditions.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, will speak at the graduation ceremony for the College of Professional Studies.

Carnevale spent more than a decade as vice president for public leadership at the Educational Testing Service.

He said he will speak about “the relationship between college and adult education and jobs” and how the field is likely to change in the future.

Louis Rosenfeld, the managing director of currency and commodities at the Goldman Sachs Group, will speak at the graduation ceremony for undergraduate programs in the School of Business. While working at Bear Stearns, Rosenfeld helped develop a recruiting relationship with the business school’s career center – a topic he will touch on in his speech.

“I am going to speak about really a couple of things: why I am so loyal to GW and how I really view GW as giving me the start in my career,” Rosenfeld said. “I guess the other part is some advice I would like to give the graduates that I will think help them in their careers.”

Kate Roberts, vice president of corporate marketing and communications of Populations Services International, will speak to graduates of the School of Public Health and Health Services.

Roberts plans to speak about “why [she] made the jump” from working in the commercial sector to international development.

Another topic of her speech will be YouthAIDS, an HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness campaign under Populations Services International that Roberts founded in 2001.

Political science professor John Sides will be one of two faculty speakers at the graduation ceremony for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Sides helped create and writes for the political science blog, The Monkey Cage.

“I continue to be excited [about speaking],” Sides said, adding, “I’ll probably be a little nervous on the day.”

Mark Lerner will speak at the ceremony for graduate programs in the School of Business. Lerner is the principal owner and vice chairman of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club.

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, chief executive office and executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, will speak to undergraduate and graduate students at the School of Nursing celebration. In her role as CEO of the AANC, Bednash oversees educational programs, research, governmental affairs, publications and other initiatives.
Bednash has had a long career in the field of nursing, serving on several boards and commissions.

Chemistry professor Chris Cahill will also speak at the graduation ceremony for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Cahill is a member of the U.S. National Committee for Crystallography and has held visiting researcher positions at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Argonne National Laboratory.

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