Pardee RAND Commencement

Pardee RAND Ph.D. and honorary degree recipients at 2018 Commencement

Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Every two years, alumni reunite on the Pardee RAND campus to celebrate the latest group of graduates. In the hopes that more people will be able to participate in person by the fall, we have rescheduled our celebration. Save the date! September 11-12, 2020 will be Pardee RAND's next Commencement Weekend, as well as the Santa Monica celebration of Pardee RAND's 50th anniversary. It is also our biennial Alumni Reunion, where we will honor our fifth Alumni Leadership Award recipient.

At its 2018 Commencement ceremony, Pardee RAND awarded 31 doctoral degrees in policy analysis and 32 master's degrees. More than 230 people attended the ceremony, and a total of 44 alumni (including our latest grads) participated in the weekend's events. It was terrific seeing the extended Pardee RAND community come together to honor our most recent graduates. Visit the 2018 Commencement page to learn more about last Commencement Weekend's events.

Tentative Schedule

Friday, September 11

Morning: Board of Governors meeting
Afternoon: Alumni event and Policy Panel Discussion
Evening: Reception and 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Saturday, September 12

10:00 a.m.: Commencement Ceremony
Noon: Celebratory Reception (immediately following Commencement)

Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. Regina Benjamin, photo by Lawrence Jackson, White House photographer / Public domain

Commencement Speaker: Dr. Regina Benjamin, former U.S. Surgeon General

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, photo by NIDS/NATO Multimedia Library

Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO

Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist and author of Fast Food Nation

Dr. Regina Benjamin

Commencement Speaker

Regina Benjamin served as the 18th U.S. surgeon general from 2009 to 2013, appointed by President Barack Obama. Prior to her tenure as the nation's physician, she practiced as a country doctor in rural Alabama. As founder and CEO of the rural BayouClinic in Bayou La Batre, Dr. Regina Benjamin is making a difference to the underserved poor in a small fishing village on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. It is a town of about 2500 people, about 80 percent of her patients live below the poverty level. Since 2013, she also has served as the chair of Public Health Sciences at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA.

In 1991 Dr. Benjamin was selected for the American Medical Association's "Unsung Hero Campaign." In 1995 she was named a "Person of the Week" on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and in 1997 she received the Kaiser Family Foundation's Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. She was interviewed by People magazine in the article "Always On Call," in May 2002 and was the subject of an "Everyday Heroes" feature in the January 2003 issue of Reader's Digest.

Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from October 2016 to October 2019. Before that, she served nearly five years as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, where she advised the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. Gottemoeller was acting in this position from 2012 to 2014, while concurrently serving as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (2009-2014). In this capacity, she was the chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation, which entered into force on February 5, 2011 and is currently in implementation.

During her time as Undersecretary of State, Gottemoeller focused on defense and security cooperation in Europe and Asia, peacekeeping policy and training, and weapons and mine abatement in post-conflict locales around the world.

Eric Schlosser

Eric Schlosser explores subjects ignored by the mainstream media and tries to give a voice to people at the margins of society. As an investigative journalist, he’s followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California, spent time with meatpacking workers in Texas and Colorado, told the stories of marijuana growers and pornographers and the victims of violent crime, gone on duty with the New York Police Department Bomb Squad, and visited prisons throughout the United States. His aim is to shed light on worlds that are too often hidden. His work defies easy categorization, earning praise from a wide variety of publications like the Nation, Fortune, the Financial Times, and the National Review.