In an email to the student body on this past Friday, April 3rd, President Hiram Chodosh announced the commencement speaker for the Class of 2014. Dr. Lael Brainard, who holds the position of former Undersecretary of the Treasury for International affairs along with other esteemed titles, will be speaking to the graduating class on May 17th, 2014.
Dr. Brainard was also one of president Barack Obama’s nominees to serve on the Federal Reserve’s board of Governors. With a reputation of being a “tireless diplomat and a firm negotiator,” Dr. Brainard has served not one, but two presidents — Clinton and Obama. During her time as Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council under Clinton, Dr. Brainard helped respond to the Mexican Financial Crisis and the Asian Financial Crisis while leading efforts on development and trade. She is also the former Vice President of the Brookings Institution, one of the oldest and most influential non-partisan think tanks.
Dr. Brainard boasts experience in the education field as well. Before her career at DC, Dr. Brainard served as an Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where her research made important contributions to the debate on the relationship between offshore production, trade, jobs, and the measurement of structural and cyclical unemployment.
Before she started out in the professional world, Dr. Brainard received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, then went on to receive her master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard University.
The announcement of Dr. Brainard as 2014 commencement speaker was met with positive feedback from both the student body and staff: “Dr. Brainard’s exemplary leadership in public affairs, economics, and international relations makes her an inspired choice for our 67th commencement,” President Chodosh mentioned.
The student body also reacted with enthusiasm. “I am excited for Dr. Brainard’s address and I’m sure that she will deliver an important message for our class”, Senior Class President Laura Epstein 14′ said.
John Faranda ‘79, Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations stressed the numerous groups of people Dr. Brainard can appeal to: “My first thoughts when I heard about Dr. Brainard’s selection were that she is the perfect CMC spokesperson. She’s obviously very knowledgeable about finance, and uses her skills at a high policy-setting level. So the econ majors will want to hear from her, the government majors and policy wonks will like her, the faculty will appreciate the fact that she is a professor, too, the parents will love her because parents love everything about their children’s graduation, and everyone else will be very interested in her because of her position of visibility and influence.” Faranda told the Forum.
Dr. Brainard follows in the footsteps of George R. Roberts ‘66 and N.R. Narayana Murthy who delivered the 2013 and 2012 addresses, respectively.
The 67th Annual Commencement ceremony will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, May 17th at Pritzlaff field.