State Department's Judith A. McHale to Speak at 189th Commencement



Judith McHaleJudith A. McHale, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department and former president of Discovery Communications, will deliver Colby’s 189th commencement address Sunday, May 23.

McHale was appointed by President Obama to help lead America’s engagement with the people of the world. Her career has been devoted to building companies and nonprofits that reach out to and connect people globally. With Colby’s deep commitment to internationalism, including a senior class representing 29 countries, McHale’s international background is particularly relevant.

Former U.S. Ambassador Robert Gelbard ’64, chair of the trustees’ honorary degree committee, credited McHale with redefining international broadcast communications and praised her ability to work with people of disparate cultures.

McHale grew up in Britain and apartheid-era South Africa. Her upbringing inspired a lifelong commitment to social justice and engagement with development issues, especially in Africa. As president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications from 1987 to 2006 she helped build the Discovery Channel’s parent company into one of the world’s most extensive media enterprises, with channels broadcast in more than 170 countries.

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