Former U.S. ambassador to address Honors Convocation

A former ambassador who has worked with the U.S. Department of State since she earned a degree in economics at SUNY Oswego in 1975 will address honors students and their families at the college’s annual Honors Convocation on April 20.

Marianne Myles.The formal ceremony recognizing the academic achievements of about 115 students will take place at 3 p.m. in the arena and convocation hall of the Campus Center. An audience of family, friends and campus colleagues of the honorees will witness the procession of faculty presenters in academic regalia.

All are welcome to attend. The convocation will be followed by a reception in the center’s food and activity court.

Honors Convocation is the culmination of SUNY Oswego’s Honors Week, which includes induction ceremonies for a range of honorary organizations across many disciplines and Quest, the college’s signature symposium dedicated to the scholarly and creative pursuits of faculty and students.

Distinguished speaker

Marianne Myles, this year’s Honors Convocation speaker, has spent much of her professional career overseas, serving in a wide variety of Foreign Service positions over nearly four decades. She recently concluded a term as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Cape Verde, an archipelago in the Atlantic off the coast of African nations Senegal and Mauritania. Her career has also taken her to Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Italy.

She said her experience as an exchange student in Ecuador while in high school and a year abroad at the University of Madrid while attending Oswego piqued her interest in foreign service.

Myles is currently dean of the School of Language Studies at the State Department’s Foreign Services Institute. She herself speaks Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

During her time in Cape Verde, she launched a project to bring running water and solar electricity to an isolated village where the women and girls walked 22 kilometers each morning to carry water back to their family homes. She is also working on a project to build a shelter in Cape Verde’s capital for abused women and children. 

In 2004, she led negotiations to secure a bilateral aviation agreement between the United States and China. It allowed U.S. cargo carriers to establish hubs in China and was considered a landmark agreement that would accelerate the flow of goods into and out of China, benefiting American workers, business and consumers. 

In addition to her Oswego degree, the Lackawanna native holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University and a master’s of science degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University.

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(Posted: Mar 29, 2012)

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