LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy and Producer of “The Wire” David Simon among this year’s commencement speakers

This afternoon, Georgetown announced the speakers for each school’s commencement address. Here is the list:

David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed television dramas “The Wire” and “Treme” will be speaking to the College.

Dr. Mark Green, senior director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and former ambassador to Tanzania is the speaker for the School of Nursing & Health.

Ela R. Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, the largest union in India, and a consultant for UNICEF, will address the School of Foreign Service.

Tim O’Shaughnessy (B ’04), CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial will be speaking to the McDonough School of Business.

The speaker for the senior convocation is Helen O’Really (F ’03), current judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

List of speakers for other Georgetown schools:

  • Dr. Helen Neville, director of the Brain Development Laboratory and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience will be addressing the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Barry Salzberg, global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited will be speaking to the MBA program.
  • Scott Case, founding chief technology officer of Priceline along with inventor of dozens of U.S. patents, is the speaker for the School of Continuing Studies.
  • Dr. Michael Zasloff, nationally recognized cardiologist who studies immunity at the Surgical Immunology Transplant Institute at the Georgetown Medical Center and Dr. Ross Fletcher, chief of staff at the Washington DC VA Medical Center will address the Medical School.
  • The Georgetown Law speaker is Arthur J. Gajarsa (L ’67), judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • James J. O’Donnell, Georgetown’s provost will speak at the closing ceremonies at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
  • Louis J. Freech, director of the FBI from 1993-2001will be speaking at the ROTC commissioning ceremony.
  • Former governor of Kansas and current secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will be addressing the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.
  • Sri Mulyani Indrawat, an Indonesian economist, and Alexander Graff Lambsdorff (G ‘93), a German politician and member of the European Parliament will address the Masters of the School of Foreign Service.

Photo: Georgetown University

38 Comments on “LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy and Producer of “The Wire” David Simon among this year’s commencement speakers

  1. The College gets The Wire guy, MSB gets the Living Social Guy, and SFS gets… one of millions of random humanitarian people who are “saving the world” and no one’s heard of before.

    It’s a good thing the SFS commencement is at 3 pm or I might have just slept in instead of going.

  2. O’Shaughnessy speaks on campus about once a year, if not twice.
    David Simon spoke, I think two years ago.
    SFS Lady..amazing job but come on, really!?

    WOW commencement speakers team..you really brought people we could not have heard otherwise.

  3. Looks like even the NHS speaker has better foreign policy credentials than our speaker…

  4. The University is really burying the lede on the Sebelius invitation. It’s very timely, and will probably contain the most significant response yet in the HHS Mandate controversy.

  5. -The guy with the pink bandana who yells at people dining at Bangkok Bistro.
    -My statistics professor
    -Ben Stein
    -Degoia’s colored dots speech.

    Sorry, I was just naming things that I thought were more interesting than the SFS’ speaker.

  6. Sorry, I actually like David Simon, so…

  7. Maybe we should give the money to Lecture Fund and let them put these together?

  8. @JS, it would be pretty hard for them to do worse. LF has been bringing in some incredible speakers this year.

  9. I think the problem is we have 4 separate graduations. So we don’t pay people as much. Having one large one would enable us to have the funds for a great person.

  10. Does Georgetown think it’s funny for a Catholic university continue to deliberately provoke and embarrass the Church? As governor, Ms. Sebelius, after private pastoral communication, was publicly told by Absp. Joseph Nauman of Kansas City in Kansas that she was not to present herself for Holy Communion until she received absolution in sacramental Confession, and publicly recanted her positions which were causing scandal among the Catholic faithful. Now Georgetown has put Cdl. Wuerl in the position of either confronting the university to withdraw this scandalous choice, or to appear weak and ineffectual by not doing so. This is either amazingly stupid, or evil.

  11. Georgetown should not, and will not withdraw Governor Sebelius (use her proper title) from the list of speakers. As a university, Georgetown has a responsibility to provide an education, which means presenting multiple viewpoints as opposed to merely spouting and regurgitating the beliefs of an authoritarian institution. Cardinal Wuerl will not intervene because Georgetown does not answer to him, and they are not beholden to his authority. We may be Catholic, and we may hold Catholic values, but we bow to no one. If you think that Georgetown will listen to a petition from a bunch of people that have no connection to the University, then you’re fooling yourselves.

  12. Sebelius? Really?

    I literally do not understand who thought this could be a good idea. What’s to stop this from becoming the fiasco Notre Dame had when inviting Barry?

  13. So, over or under 90 Jesuits/Faculty signing a protest letter for Governor Sebelius being given an honorary degree by the school? If they don’t, this is hypocrisy at its finest.

  14. Dear Georgetown,

    “In short, your choice of commencement speaker appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Tartuffe, rather than the teachings of Jesus Christ…”

  15. Georgetown giving Secretary Sebelius an honorary degree is it acting in its academic role, not its religious role. While academics should be informed by Catholic teachings, ultimately, schools need to be independent from church doctrine in their academic decisionmaking. Georgetown is not CUA.

  16. How typical and boorish of Georgetown to pick a provocative speaker like Sebelius to stick it in the eye of practicing Catholics. Georgetown is lacking in adult supervision as evidenced by all h student-led clubs that directly contradict Church teaching and a college president who would rather please the pundits of MSNBC than the bishops who ordained him. Where once great Catholic universities produced the world’s thought leaders with a blend of faith and reason, now they are reduced to a race to the bottom with community colleges.

  17. WOW GEORGETOWN. You did it again. Amazing and thank you for bringing Governor Sebelius. Maybe one day the pseudo Catholicism gurus will shut up and accept that not every student of yours is Catholic. And that your Jesuit identity calls upon you to address all thoughts and beliefs.

    Actually, thank you.

    These conservative papers can write whaaaatever they want to write–we cannot keep every pro-choice person away from this educational institution. Not to mention that they can no longer prevent the sound of reason to get louder.

  18. Kathleen Sebelius? Unbelievable!

    What Catholic in their right mind would view her public actions as anything but an anathema? It is as if Georgetown is blatantly poking its finger in the eyes of faithful Catholics across the country.

    In Catholic teaching, there are certain moral principles that are non-negotiable, and Mrs. Sebelius is on the wrong side of many of them. Georgetown would NEVER invite a supporter of genocide or slavery or racial separatism to speak, so why should they invite one of the nation’s most prominent and influential abortion supporters and the architect of the unjust HHS contraception mandate?

  19. I love the fact that folks who are not Jesuits and probably don’t even really like the Jesuits or the Church consider themselves authorities on what is and is not appropriate for a Jesuit school to do. It’s kind of riotous, really. Then again, given this post, I’m a bit of a hypocrite here, haha.

    It’s not so much that Sebellius is coming to speak that ought to irk Catholics (supporting diversity of dialogue, which is always and everywhere a good thing, so long as it really is dialogue), it’s the context in which she’s being presented. Surely, if someone like Kony (to use a rather blase example) was invited to speak at the College commencement, we would throw up our hands in protest, as the commencement speaker is recognized as someone who is being honored by the university as someone whose life and choices and moral systems the graduates ought to admire and perhaps even emulate. Similarly, but to a far lesser degree (I do not mean to compare her to Kony whatsoever), I would like to think that Georgetown would seriously consider disinviting Sebellius given her recent track record.

    Well, Not from Kansas, your line “we bow to no one” sounds a lot like “non serviam,” which is the great line attributed to Lucifer (“I will not serve”). In certain representations in the history of Christian art, Lucifer has no knees, as he will not kneel before any authority. Funnily enough, and completely and utterly contradictory to your rather misinformed statement, because Georgetown is a Catholic and Jesuit institution, it is beholden to a higher authority, whether you like it or not. Not to sound harshly condescending, but it’s not really your opinion that matters. In all likelihood, you are a student or a young alum (such as myself), and your relationship with the university doesn’t give you any sort of authority whatsoever, just like myself. So, ego check.

    One would only hope that this particular invitation was made with much thought, perhaps even before the mandate came out. If it was made after the mandate was issued, though, perhaps Georgetown is looking to make nice-nice with the Obama administration.

  20. Signing that petition is a real clever way for the Cardinal Newman Society, no supporter of Georgetown, to gather entries for their email list! CNS is a sham. I’m glad we don’t cowtow to their Vatican II denialism and get on their list of “approved” universities!

  21. Simply put, abortion is the gravest sin committed by and against man since the crucifixion of Christ. Woe to those who view this most grievous ‘human’ issue as a mere political one, which can be tolerated, and even ignored, for the sake of academia adequation. If the Sebelius invite isn’t revoked, then I encourage all graduating Hoyas to sit this commencement out, however difficult that may be; you do not want to be in this number.

  22. back off dude. It’s our graduation. You had your day. Who cares who the speaker is? Really, nobody cares. They all say the same thing, and everyone just waits to hear their name and then tunes out.

  23. Reading the comment threads on topics like this make me really hate going to Georgetown sometimes. This is a top-tier institution of higher learning, not a church. All you religious zealot crazies can go complain somewhere else.

  24. Re the post above, you are correct that Georgetown is not CUA. CUA is actually a Catholic university. This invitation is a deliberate and offensive slap in the face of all Catholics, and particularly our Bishops. No self-respecting Catholic parent should send their kid to this scandalous “Catholic” university.

  25. Wow: the school calls itself Catholic. That means something. If it hates the Church, as apparently it does, it should quit calling itself “Catholic” and become a secular institution. The scandal is that the school uses the “Catholic” name for it’s own benefit, yet deliberately insults the Church. Also, I dispute the “top tier” designation. G-town charges $60K a year for left-wing political indoctrination, and calls it an “education.”

  26. Would Catholic parents would be willing to send their child who wanted to be a computer scientist to say MIT, CMU or Caltech ?

    Also, Sebelius, who I really really have a low opinion of, is speaking for Public Policy Institute. Thats a professional masters program. Not really connected, other than by name, to the Georgetown liberal arts undergraduate education.

    Its nowhere near the heart of Georgetown.

  27. VisitorsfromCNS: I don’t have a problem with that. Those are all clearly secular institutions. None of them pretend to be Catholic. The problem with G’town is that it claims to be Catholic, but isn’t. In fact, it goes out of it’s way to give the middle finger to the Church.

  28. As an actual student at Georgetown (not an anonymous internet troll who has no connection to this school) that I’m gay, an atheist and give a portion of my paycheck every month directly to Planned Parenthood.

    Reading all these posts makes me happy that my school took my side on this issue and not yours.

    And @Don I’d be happy to sign any petition making Georgetown a secular institution. I think then we’d finally break the top 10…

  29. GPPI’s ceremony is not a commencement ceremony — GPPI students receive their diplomas in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences graduation ceremony (and the speaker at the latter ceremony is who receives an honorary degree).

    Traditionally (and I assume it will be the case this year), the GPPI speaker does not receive an honorary degree, which places this on a much lower level of vetting and visibility, except among those who wish to make it a big deal.

  30. Good for Georgetown for inviting Sebelius. Is there a petition to make Georgetown a Catholic school? Count me on board (heck, I’d literally designate my will to leave everything to Georgetown if that were the case). I do like the Jesuits and what they stand for, but Georgetown would be so much better off for not being associated with the rest of the Catholic craziness.

    (Oh, and by the way, Ela Bhatt is a much bigger deal than the LivingSocial guy or the Wire guy, for all you SFS cribbers. Important enough to be part of The Elders (just look at who else was part of the founding group of Elders): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ela_Bhatt#The_Elders)

  31. Do you mean to make Georgetown NOT a Catholic school? I completely agree. The whole Catholic thing is a major burden and GU would be MUCH better off as a secular institution. Too bad it’ll never happen because the bible-thumping nutjobs among the alumni would throw a fit…

  32. Yeah, I meant make it not a Catholic school.

  33. I used to proudly proclaim that I received my Theological training from the Jesuits. Not any more!

  34. 1. Ela Bhatt is awesome.

    2. Georgetown doesn’t actually pay its graduation speakers, they agree to come in for free.

  35. Pingback: Georgetown U invites Kathleen Sebelius to speak at commencement | Jill Stanek

  36. Pingback: Georgetown Taunts All the Bishops of America | CatholiConnection

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