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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, named 2019 Commencement Speaker for the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein will deliver the keynote address during the 2019 commencement ceremony for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on Wednesday, May 22 at 11 a.m. at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.
Recognized as a leading and outspoken defender and promoter of universal human rights, Al Hussein was awarded the Stockholm Human Rights Award in 2015 and the Human Rights Tulip Prize in 2018. Earlier this year, he was appointed to The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working for peace, justice, and human rights founded by Nelson Mandela.
Al Hussein was the U.N.’s sixth High Commissioner for Human Rights, serving from 2014 to 2018. Additionally at the U.N., he served as president of its Security Council in 2014, led efforts to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse in U.N. peacekeeping missions from 2004 to 2007, and worked with the United Nations Protection Force as a civilian peacekeeper from 1994 to 1996. Al Hussein served twice as Jordan’s ambassador to the U. N. and once as Jordan’s ambassador to the U.S. He also represented Jordan twice before the International Court of Justice.
In 2002, he was elected the first president of the International Criminal Court’s governing body, where he guided the court’s growth in its first three years. Al Hussein contributed to the international community's efforts at countering the threat of nuclear materials being trafficked and then used maliciously by terrorists.
Known for his expertise in global security, Al Hussein is currently the Distinguished Global Leader in-Residence at the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds degrees from Johns Hopkins and Cambridge universities and is an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College at Cambridge.
Al Hussein will address more than 3,000 graduates, faculty, staff, family, and friends in the Johns Hopkins SAIS community. The school will confer degrees to nearly 500 students in the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance, Master of Arts in Global Policy, Master of International Public Policy, and Doctorate programs.
Members of the press may request to cover Ambassador Al Hussein’s speech by emailing [email protected].
Media Contact
Jason Lucas
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins University SAIS
+1 (202) 663-5620 office
+1 (202) 422-2652 mobile
[email protected]
About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
A live webcast of the entire commencement ceremony will be accessible at 2019 Johns Hopkins SAIS Commencement.
For more information, visit or @SAISHopkins

Friday, May 10, 2019
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