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Senior UN leader to speak at International Institute commencement in June

This is an information page only — commencement is not a public event.


UN Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning Robert C. Orr.
It’s that time of year again. Students are anxiously working to complete their final course requirements, ordering caps and gowns and looking forward — finally — to finishing their studies at UCLA. 
Some 485 students are expected to graduate from the International Institute’s interdepartmental programs, which offer majors, minors and graduate degrees covering a broad range of geographic areas and global themes. They will take their diverse knowledge into careers in government, business, international development and education — all of which require cultural, social, economic, historical and political understanding in our increasingly interconnected global world.
Winners of undergraduate awards for academic achievement and humanitarian activities in International Development Studies, as well as a thesis award in Global Studies, will be announced closer to the date.
The Institute is delighted to welcome Robert C. Orr, United Nations assistant secretary-general for strategic planning, as its 2013 commencement speaker. 
A graduate of UCLA with a double major in english and history, Orr served in leadership posts in academia and the U.S. government prior to joining the UN in his present capacity in 2004. His career includes positions as executive director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; director of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC; deputy to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and director of global and multilateral affairs at the National Security Council. 
Orr completed an M.P.A. and Ph.D. at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and has published widely on peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction. He joins a long line of distinguished international leaders who have addressed graduating International Institute students. 

Royce Hall. (Photo: © by Christine Larson)
Past commencement speakers have included former U.S. Ambassador to Chile Craig Kelly (also a UCLA graduate); General Wesley K. Clark, (US Army, ret.), who rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe; His Excellency Professor Kantathi Suphamongkhon, the 39th Foreign Minister of Thailand (another UCLA graduate); Ms. Christine Loh, Founder and CEO of Civic Exchange, an independent, non-profit public policy think tank in Hong Kong; and Dame Barbara Hay, British Consul-General in Los Angeles and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm on campus at Royce Hall. (Note that tickets may be obtained only by graduating students.)

The experience of living in both India and the United States has brought me an acute awareness of the disparity between the two countries. Through the interdisciplinary curriculum of the International Development Studies (IDS) major, I now understand how [they] can learn from one another and can mutually grow and prosper. In the long run, the understanding of development and world affairs I have acquired here will help serve as a building block in diminishing the distance of global inequality worldwide.

Garisma Kadakia, UCLA 2013
IDS and History Major, South Asian Studies Minor


The International Institute offered a unique program. Global Studies, as an interdisciplinary program, creates a dynamic lens with which young minds learn to analyze complex issues in our global age. I chose this program for the rigorous thesis that is demanded. It was my understanding prior to my admittance that Global Studies was UCLA’s version of an “International Relations” major. However, I quickly discovered its complex, interdisciplinary nature. For this, I am confident that I received an exceptional education, and one that will aid success in my future career.

Katherine Parkinson, UCLA 2013
Global Studies Major


The International Institute congratulates all of its graduating students and wishes them success in their future endeavors. 
Link to IDP student commencement and graduation page

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