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Professor Bertini to Speak at Maxwell Convocation Friday – (watch livestream)

Professor Catherine Bertini

Professor Catherine Bertini to speak at Maxwell Convocation Friday

Graduation is always an exciting time on a college campus! This weekend is Syracuse University’s Commencement Weekend. In addition to a large ceremony to take place in the SU Carrier Dome on Sunday – each of SU’s Schools and Colleges hold separate graduate convocation ceremonies.  The Maxwell Graduate Convocation Ceremony will take place Friday, May 13th at 2 pm in Setnor Auditorium of Crouse College.  At this ceremony, graduate students (masters and doctoral) across all the social sciences disciplines will be recognized, including our MA IR graduates and Executive PA and IR graduates. The PAIA department holds a separate ceremony for MPA graduates at the end of June when they finish their programs.

This years keynote address will be given by one of our own – and a dear colleague – Catherine Bertini.  While Catherine has been a faculty favorite of PAIA students having served on our faculty since 2005, she has also continues a long and distinguished career as a leader in international organization management and reform; humanitarian relief; international girls education efforts; and nutrition policy.  Catherine served for two years as a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2007-2009), and prior to that served as United Nations Under Secretary-General for Management (2003-2005), as Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (1992-2002), and as Assistant Secretary for Food and Consumer Services at USDA (1989 – 1992).

In 2003, Bertini was name the World Food Prize Laureate. She was decorated by the Republic of Italy with its Order of Merit, and the Republic of Ireland has honored her with its Certificate of Irish Heritage.  She has 12 honorary doctorates from universities and countries. In 2016 she was named an inaugural member of the Cortland County Hall of Fame.  Bertini was appointed by President Bush and reappointed by President Obama to the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Tupperware Brands Corporation, a member of the board of the Stuart Family Foundation, and the board of trustees of the Cortland Regional Medical Center. In 2012 she served as a member of the Accountability and Review Board on Benghazi.  She is also a current distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

I am very excited for tomorrow’s ceremony. Not only to celebrate with the many students I have had the pleasure to work with as they progressed through their studies – but also to hear from my good colleague and friend, Catherine Bertini.  It is hard not to be impressed by her glowing list of accomplishments and accolades – to perhaps be intimidated or awed – but those who know Catherine, know she is a wonderfully warm and giving person. She is a trusting and kind mentor and friend to many (and I luckily count myself in that group).  She is an accomplished woman who shares with others – she helps out, supports and sometimes pushes other women to reach their goals.  Not all do. Thank you Catherine  – I will be in the audience tomorrow celebrating you as well as our many accomplished graduates!

The Maxwell Graduate Convocation is open to all members of the Syracuse University community.  The event will also be available via livestream at

A reception will take place in Maxwell Foyer directly after the celebration of our graduates.

For more information about the Maxwell graduate and under graduate convocations please visit

For information regarding Syracuse University’s Commencement on May 15 please visit

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