World Bank President to Deliver Commencement Address at the Pardee RAND Graduate School

For Release

June 11, 2012

Robert B. Zoellick, president of the World Bank Group, will be the featured commencement speaker June 23 at the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica.

A total of 32 doctoral degrees and 42 master's degrees will be awarded during the ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. Honorary degrees and other awards also will be given during the ceremony.

"Our graduates receive a unique education in broad policy analysis tools and methodologies that will allow them to make contributions across business, government and other sectors," said Susan L. Marquis, dean of the graduate school. "We expect our graduates to go on to address and help solve some of the major challenges facing our nation and the world."

The celebration will begin on June 22 with a policy panel discussion featuring Zoellick, James Thomson, former president and CEO of RAND, and Francis Fukuyama, RAND trustee and a senior fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

Zoellick will give the commencement address June 23 in the courtyard of the RAND Santa Monica campus. Zoellick is the 11th president of the World Bank Group and has served in that role since 2007.

For the first time, the school also will present the PRGS Alumni Leadership Award. The honoree, selected by a committee of alumni, PRGS faculty and a representative from the dean's office, is Mark J. Albrecht, chairman of the board of U.S. Space LLC, a provider of dedicated space solutions to serve the nation's interests. He has been a leading figure in the U.S. space program for more than 20 years.

With about 100 students, the Pardee RAND Graduate School is the nation's largest public policy Ph.D. program. Its 197 faculty members are drawn from the more than 1,000 researchers at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

Founded in 1970 as one of eight graduate programs in public policy created to train future leaders in the public and private sectors in policy analysis, the school is the only program specializing in the doctorate degree and the only one based at a public policy research organization.

The dissertations of this year's graduates cover such such topics as improving student achievement in secondary schools, innovative transportation policies, understanding Iran and implications for world security, and better approaches to water management for agriculture in developing nations.

The program is designed to produce an elite class of policy leaders, people whose careers will be distinguished by the caliber of their thinking and actions. The school holds commencement exercises every two years.

For more information about the Pardee RAND Graduate School, visit

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