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Syracuse University chooses CEO of San Francisco Fed as commencement speaker

By Eric Reinhardt


Mary Daly
Mary Daly

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Mary Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will deliver the 2019 commencement address at Syracuse University’s (SU) graduation ceremony on May 12.

Daly earned her Ph.D. in economics at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1994.

Syracuse will award Daly an honorary degree during the ceremony, the school said in a Saturday news release.

Daly took office as president and CEO of the San Francisco Fed on Oct. 1, 2018. She oversees the largest of the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts, as defined by population and size of its economy. She also serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets eight times a year in Washington, D.C., to discuss and decide on monetary policy in the U.S., including interest rates.

“Mary Daly is an outstanding leader in the field of economics and in public service,” Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said in the school’s release. “Along with her tremendous professional background, Mary has an inspired academic journey. We are pleased to welcome her back to Syracuse University and to hear her message to the Class of 2019.”

A native of Ballwin, Missouri, Daly dropped out of high school and started working at the age of 15. Through the encouragement of a mentor, she completed a general education development (GED) testing process and applied to college.

She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a master’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before receiving her Ph.D. at the Maxwell School. She also completed a National Institute of Aging postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University.

“Syracuse has always held a special place in my heart because it helped me grow as both a researcher and a person,” Daly said in the release. “To be able to return as a commencement speaker and share the lessons I’ve learned over the years with the Class of 2019 is a tremendous honor.”

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Photo provided by Syracuse University

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