2010 Commencement Speaker Announced

During the Spring Town Meeting, President Jackson announced that Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama Peter Orszag will be delivering this year’s Commencement address at the May 29th ceremony.

Orszag, one of the nation’s top economists, graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and has since then been involved in a number of economic studies and has held numerous leadership positions. Most recently, he was appointed as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Obama Administration from the previously held position as Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Orszag , the youngest member of the Obama Cabinet, is responsible for crafting the federal budget and overseeing the effectiveness of federal programs.

He formed his own his own consulting group called Sebago Associates, which was later merged into Competition Policy Associates and bought by FTI Consulting Inc. Orszag also served as a senior economist and senior advisor on the council of economic advisors as well as special assistant to the president for economic policy in the late 1990s under former President Bill Clinton.

In addition to Orszag, three others will be honored at Commencement: leader in biotechnology and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert Langer, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of National History Neil deGrasse Tyson, and President of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Harold Varmus.

The President’s Commencement Colloquy, which will be held on May 28, will be titled “Re-Igniting the Innovation Economy: Science and Technology.” Jackson will join the four honorands to discuss this topic.

Jackson stated that the colloquy will focus on answering what is necessary to reignite the innovation economy, coming out of the current recession. “We are at a crossroads, where decisions and investments we make today must lay the foundation for our economic strength and global leadership.”

She continued, “We will look back, to examine what sparked the innovation revolution that has fueled our economy for generations. We will look outward, at the current state of collaboration among business, academia, and government essential to support a healthy innovation ecosystem. And, we will look forward, to see how, by removing barriers to creating new approaches, we can power our economy and uplift society as a whole.”

The colloquy will be held in the Concert Hall of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 28.