Katie McGinty named College of Earth and Mineral Sciences commencement speaker

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Honorable Kathleen A. "Katie" McGinty will deliver the address for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) undergraduate graduation ceremony. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 4, in Pegula Ice Arena on Penn State’s University Park campus.

“We are extremely honored to have Ms. McGinty as this year’s commencement speaker,” said Lee Kump, dean of the College of EMS. “Throughout her life she has been a champion for the environment. She has had an impressive career in both the private and public sectors, working on energy and environmental solutions to protect our environment and strengthen our economy.”

McGinty is known both for her vision and energy, as well as for her ability to pull people together, persist through challenges and solve tough problems. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has called her a "remarkable blend of passion and pragmatism, idealism and political acumen." Her motto is "environmental challenges are economic opportunities in disguise," and she is credited with successfully attracting thousands of renewable energy jobs and a billion dollars in new investment to Pennsylvania while serving as Secretary of Environmental Protection under Gov. Ed Rendell.

McGinty launched her public sector career after being awarded an American Chemical Society Congressional Fellowship. As a fellow, McGinty worked in then-Sen. Gore's office developing legislation to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. high tech companies that commercialize basic research. Her public sector career also included serving as deputy assistant to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She also served as chief of staff to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and most recently was the 2016 Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Pennsylvania.

McGinty is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. She was designated a "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and Woman of the Year by the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment. She also was awarded the Wilderness Society’s Ansel Adams Award for exceptional commitment to conservation.

She has served on numerous public and private company boards as director. She currently serves on the boards of the Energy Futures Initiative, the Committee of Seventy and the American Sustainable Business Council.

McGinty holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Joseph's University and a juris doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law.

She and her husband, Karl Hausker, have three daughters and live in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

More information about commencement can be found at http://commencement.psu.edu/.

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Last Updated April 25, 2018