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New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas L. Friedman to Address Graduates at Olin's 11th Commencement

Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman will be the speaker for Olin College’s 11th commencement, which will be held on May 15, 2016.

Friedman’s foreign affairs column for the New York Times reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflicts, international economics, environment, biodiversity and energy.  Friedman has covered many of the world’s major events of the last four decades, including the end of the Cold War, the attacks of 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, he has written extensively about the world at the intersection of education, technology, the Internet and globalization. He is the author of six bestselling books, including, most recently, That Used to be Us. Friedman has won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.

Friedman completed his undergraduate education at Brandeis University, where he is now a trustee. He has a master's degree in modern Middle East studies from St. Antony's College, Oxford, through the British Marshall Scholarship program.

For his coverage of the Middle East, Mr. Friedman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and 1988 for international reporting.  He was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary for “his clarity of vision…in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.”  In 2004, he was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title, Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II.

Friedman is no stranger to Olin. He has been to the Needham campus several times over the past years, and has been quoted saying of the college’s innovative learning program, “I would like to clone Olin 1,000 times.”

“We are honored to have Mr. Friedman as our Commencement speaker.  He is one of the most respected and insightful observers of world events and a fan of the kind of innovation and change that Olin represents. I am sure his remarks will contain many valuable insights for our community,” said Olin College President Richard K. Miller.