University News

Zakaria will be graduation speaker

By
News Editor
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Journalist and political scientist Fareed Zakaria will deliver the baccalaureate address at Commencement next month, the University announced Thursday.

Grammy-winning recording artist Aretha Franklin and global health leader Jim Yong Kim ’82 will receive honorary degrees along with Zakaria and five others.

Anthropologist Mary Elmendorf, businessman Richard Barker ’57 P’03 P’05, humanitarian David Saltzman ’84, engineer Jerry Fishman P’99 and health advocate Jessie Gruman will also receive honorary degrees.

Zakaria will deliver a speech entitled “Living a Global Life” during the traditional ceremony in the First Baptist Church in America May 23. The editor of Newsweek International since 2000, Zakaria is well-known for his weekly column in the magazine, which also appears in the Washington Post.

He is also a former managing editor of the journal Foreign Affairs, and his 2008 book, “The Post-American World” became a New York Times best-seller. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Trilateral Commission.

He has also hosted PBS’s “Foreign Exchange” and currently hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” a weekly international affairs show on CNN.

Franklin, who will receive an honorary doctor of music, is the second soulful superstar to be honored by Brown in the last three years. Blues legend B.B. King received an honorary degree in 2007.

Franklin has won 20 Grammy awards and has had 45 Top 40 hits since 1961. The first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she entranced America in January when she sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s inauguration. Her songs, which include hits such as “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” are known around the world.

Franklin was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005. She is still recording — she released an album in December 2008 and recently founded her own record label, Aretha Records.

Kim, a renowned physician and humanitarian, was elected president of Dartmouth College in March. His work has focused on health care in developing countries. He served as executive director of nonprofit organization Partners in Health and also worked for the World Health Organization, where he oversaw a host of HIV/AIDS programs.

An expert in the field of tuberculosis, Kim won a MacArthur genius grant in 2003 and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006 and one of America’s 25 best leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2005. He earned both an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard after graduating from Brown.

Other leaders honored

Barker has served as vice chairman of the board and director of Capital Group International, Inc. and chairman of the board of both Capital International and Capital Guardian Trust Company. He serves on the advisory boards of venture capital funds Champion Ventures and Pharos Capital Partners.

The former Corporation trustee serves on the Board of Governors of the Watson Institute for International Studies. He is also the leader of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment’s initiative to raise money for financial aid.

Elmendorf, a peace activist, worked for more than 60 years to improve drinking water and aid women in emerging nations. She served on the Ford Foundation’s First Task Force on women in 1972 and was the World Bank’s first staff anthropologist. Her work has taken her to United Nations conferences all over the world.

She has also worked with the International Development Research Centre, the International Rescue Committee, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization. Her work has centered on water sanitation in Latin America.

Gruman is president of the Washington-based nonprofit Center for Advancing Health, which she founded in 1992. Her career has centered on improving health care in the U.S. and working to end disparities in the care Americans receive. She has also worked at AT&T, the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.

Gruman teaches at the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University and serves on the boards of the Public Health Institute, the Center for Medical Technology Policy and the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Saltzman is the executive director and a founding board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, which has raised over $1 billion to combat poverty in New York City since its inception in 1988, and which projects that it will distribute $150 million this year alone. He led two AIDS education programs sponsored by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Time magazine named Saltzman to its list of 100 Innovators in 2001. After graduating from Brown, Saltzman earned a master’s in public policy and administration from Columbia, which awarded him its Global Leadership Award.

Fishman, president and chief executive officer of the semiconductor company Analog Devices, serves on the boards of Cognex Corp. and Xilinx Corp. He has contributed to Brown to support various projects in the Division of Engineering, including the Laboratory for Engineering Man/Machine Systems and the “studio lab.”  He holds an M.S. from Northeastern University, an M.B.A. from Boston University and a J.D. from Suffolk Law School.