Commencement speakers: Milken to speak at public health school, Apple’s general counsel at law school

Media Credit: Photo used under the Wikimedia Commons license

Michael Milken

We know that José Andrés will deliver the University-wide Commencement speech and senior Gabe Felder will take the National Mall stage as the student speaker. But who can you expect to speak at each college’s ceremony?

With five weeks to go until graduation, here are the speakers who have been announced.

Media Credit: Photo used under the Wikimedia Commons license
Michael Milken

Milken Institute School of Public Health: Michael Milken

Billionaire business titan Michael Milken, the man behind a mega gift to GW’s public health school, certainly after an interesting story to tell. Dubbed the “junk bond kind,” Milken spent 22 months in prison after being convicted of securities fraud. A week after he left prison, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since then, he dedicated his philanthropy efforts to funding medical research, including his combined $80 million gift to the school.

GW Law School: Bruce Sewell


The GW Law School will hear from Bruce Sewell, who has served as the general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs at Apple, Inc. since 2009. With CEO Tim Cook, Sewell oversees Apple’s legal side, including intellectual property and government affairs.

Before joining Apple, Sewell worked at the corporate law firm Brown & Bain P.C., then joined Intel Corporation, where he eventually oversaw the company’s legal matters. Sewell earned his law degree from GW in 1986.

School of Medicine and Health Sciences: Kurt Newman


Kurt Newman, president and chief executive officer of Children’s National Medical Center, has served as a surgeon there for three decades. Newman is also a top administrator for Children’s National’s Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Center for Surgical Care and founder of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

School of Nursing: Maureen McCausland


Maureen McCausland, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for MedStar Health, boasts more than 30 years of experience as a hospital and nursing executive. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

School of Engineering and Applied Science: Kevin Kelly


Kevin Kelly, the chief executive officer of networking and communications contractor LGS Innovations, will address the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Kelly has more than 20 years of experience in communications, and he earned a master’s degree in systems engineering from GW.

Graduate School of Education and Human Development: Cora Marrett


Cora Marrett is the acting director of the National Science Foundation, where she has promoted research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences graduate ceremony: David Karpf


David Karpf, an assistant professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs, writes about how the Internet has impacted the way nonprofits and political groups organize. Before becoming a professor, Karpf worked as an organizer for the Sierra Club.

CCAS undergraduate noon ceremony: Irene Foster


An assistant economics professor, Irene Foster specializes in microeconomics and marketing research. She has taught economics, statistics and marketing courses at the University. She also serves as an adviser for undergraduate economics majors. Before joining the GW faculty, Foster consulted for government agencies and corporations.

CCAS undergraduate ceremony 3:30 p.m. ceremony: Melani McAlister


Melani McAlister, an associate professor of American studies, international affairs, and media and public affairs, is an expert in U.S.-Middle East relations and globalization. She has analyzed U.S. perceptions of the Middle East for major media outlets and written about the country’s race, religion and culture.

Elliott School of International Affairs: David Shambaugh


David Shambaugh, professor of political science and international affairs and director of the China Policy Program, specializes in contemporary Chinese affairs, Chinese military and security, and Asian international relations. Before he came to GW, Shambaugh held multiple research, analysis and editorial positions at other universities and publications. He earned a bachelor’s degree from GW in East Asian studies.

This post was updated Thursday, April 10 to reflect the following correction:
Due to misinformation from the University’s media relations office, the Hatchet incorrectly reported that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will be speaking at a graduation ceremony. We regret this error.

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