Facebook Head of Public Policy to give the WC 2018 Commencement Address

By Cassy Sottile
News Editor

In just a few weeks, former Deputy General Counsel and former staff member on the National Economic Council for the Bush-Cheney campaign, Kevin Martin, will greet students lined up in their gowns on the Campus Green.

On May 20, Washington College will hold its 235th Commencement Ceremony. Martin, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and current interim head of Facebook’s U.S. Public Policy, will give the Commencement Address.

Martin, who already has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Public Policy from Duke University and a Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, will also be receiving an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the Commencement ceremony.

According to the press release about his commencement address, Martin was named interim head of Facebook’s U.S. Public Policy in late April. Prior to this, Martin served as the Vice President for Mobile and Global Access Policy for three years, during which he oversaw communication regulatory issues at Facebook. Martin has been involved with Facebook since 2015, when he first joined as a consultant.

Martin served on the FCC for eight years. He spent 2001 to 2005 as a commissioner, and 2005 to 2009 as the chairman. Following his tenure at the FCC, he was a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Communications and Society Program. He later joined Squire Patton Boggs LLP as a partner.

Throughout his career, he represented the U.S. in bilateral negotiations while serving as the U.S. representative to the G-8’s Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT), according to the College’s press release bio [of Martin]. The DOT force was based on the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society, adopted at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, and examined steps to bridge the digital divide that exists internationally.

“I serve on the Incorporated Board with him and I’ve heard him speak. [Martin] is a very good speaker. He’ll be attractive both to the students, cause they’ll be interested in the Facebook part, but also it’s a good thing for the College, being the head of the FCC. It’s quite a big deal,” Landgraf said.

The public is invited to the Commencement ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m. WC’s Habitat for Humanity will be selling $15 bouquets from Bloomin’ Wild in the lobby of Hodson Hall the morning of May 20.

Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony, unless commencement moves inside due to inclement weather. Each graduate will be given six tickets for their guests during commencement rehearsal in case of this event.

If there are any questions about tasks leading up to Commencement, students can check the graduation requirements page on the registrar’s office webpage. The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed at: https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/.

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