2016 Honorary Degree Recipients

Lars Peter Hansen

Lars Peter HansenDoctor of Laws

Winner of the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, Lars Peter Hansen is the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, Statistics and the College at the University of Chicago, where he is also director of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. He is a leading expert in economic dynamics who works at the boundaries of macroeconomics, finance, and econometrics. Among his research interests are methods for pricing the exposure to macroeconomic shocks over alternative investment horizons and implications of the pricing of long-term uncertainty. Hansen, who earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Minnesota, has won prestigious prizes including the 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management; the 2008 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications; the 2006 Nemmers Prize in Economics; and the 1984 Frisch Prize Medal with Kenneth J. Singleton. A fellow and former president of the Econometric Society, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the editorial board of Econometrica for 11 years and has chaired the thesis committees of 61 Ph.D. candidates.


Arianna Huffington

Arianna HuffingtonDoctor of Letters

Cofounder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington is also the author of 15 books. In May 2005 she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012 the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been named to Time Magazine‘s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21 she became president of the famed debating society the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including the Center for Public Integrity and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Her 15th book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, on the science, history, and mystery of sleep, will be published April 5.


Valerie Jarrett

Valerie JarrettDoctor of Laws

Senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls. She has mobilized elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates to improve access to the middle class, to boost American businesses and the economy, and to champion equality and opportunity for all Americans. Jarrett has helped President Obama develop a broad coalition to champion efforts to end sexual assault, to raise the minimum wage, to empower working American families and women around the world, and to promote entrepreneurship and early childhood education. She earned her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and was previously CEO of the Habitat Company in Chicago, chair of the Chicago Transit Board, and a senior administrator for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as director for corporations and nonprofits in roles including chair of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.


Edison T. Liu, M.D.

Edison T Liu, MDDoctor of Science

An authority in translational medicine, molecular oncology, and functional genomics, Edison T. Liu has led several of the world’s leading research institutes, including the Jackson Laboratory, which he joined as president and CEO in 2012. The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit organization focused on complex mammalian genetics research in order to advance human health. Liu earned B.A. and M.D. degrees from Stanford University and previously served as president of the Human Genome Organization, founding executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore, and scientific director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Clinical Sciences. His own research focuses on the functional genomics of human cancers, particularly breast cancer; uncovering new oncogenes; and deciphering the dynamics of gene regulation on a genomic scale. The author of two books and hundreds of scientific papers and reviews, he also writes on science, medicine, and society for lay audiences, composes music, and plays jazz piano.

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