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Bexley High School announces graduation speaker
Gayle Smith, a Bexley alumna currently serving as special assistant to President Barack Obama, will address members of the Class of 2009 and their guests at Bexley High School's graduation, set for Sunday, June 7 at 4 p.m. in the school's stadium.
One of the top advisers to the Obama-Biden transition team on national security issues, Smith was until February 2009 a Senior Fellow at the Think Tank, the Center for American Progress, and Director of the International Rights and Responsibilities Program. In March, she was named Senior Director for Relief, Stabilization and Development at the National Security Council.
Previously, Smith served as special assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2001, and as Senior Adviser to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1994 -1998. She is a co-founder of ENOUGH, an organization launched in 2007 to build a permanent constituency to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.
Smith also worked as an Africa-based journalist and consultant for over 20 years. She covered military, economic, and political affairs for the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Globe, London Observer, and Financial Times, among others.
BHS senior Dani Moyer arranged for the 1974 Bexley grad's commencement speech. As a student, Smith was a National Merit Commended Student. She was involved with the school's literary magazine, sang with the choir, served on the cheerleading squad and played field hockey.
"Ms. Smith's appearance is timely," Principal John Kellogg said. "Her success as a Bexley alum and involvement in the new administration make for a wonderful story for our seniors and community members to hear. We are lucky to have her come speak."
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