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Michael R. Bloomberg Named 2014 Commencement Speaker


Michael R. Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg

Photograph courtesy of Michael R. Bloomberg

Entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg, M.B.A. ’66, will be the principal speaker at Harvard's 363rd Commencement on May 29, the University announced today.

New York City’s recently retired three-term mayor was born in Boston and raised in Medford, Massachusetts. He attended Johns Hopkins and Harvard Business School; at the latter, a professorship and the renovated Baker Library | Bloomberg Center are named in honor of his late father, William Henry Bloomberg. Before entering politics, he worked at Salomon Brothers and then founded the financial services and media firm Bloomberg L.P. Since leaving office, he has maintained his commitment to public service: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed him a special envoy for cities and climate change, “looking to the former mayor to mobilize municipal leaders to respond” to existing and emerging environmental threats in light of his own experience in confronting those challenges. In its most recent annual update, his Bloomberg Philanthropies (see below) reported that it had distributed $452 million in 2013.

“Mike Bloomberg’s career represents a rare blend of public leadership, private-sector entrepreneurship, and powerful philanthropic engagement,” said Harvard president Drew Faust in the University announcement. “He has led one of the world’s great cities, built one of the nation’s most influential information services, and generously committed his attention and resources to worthy causes in public health, the environment, civic life, the arts, and—not least of all—education. I greatly look forward to welcoming him in May.”

Bloomberg will speak during the Afternoon Exercises—the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association—on May 24. HAA president Catherine A. Gellert ’93 praised him as “a prime example of someone who has done well and done good,” and added, “I am sure that our alumni will be eager to hear from a member of our ranks whose career has had such a wide impact across the public, private, and nonprofit spheres.”

Read the University announcement here.


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