2019 Commencement Recap

May 19, 2019

The Class of 2019 received their diplomas during Pomona College’s 126th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Marston Quad.

Foreign policy expert and academic, Esther Brimmer '83, delivered the main address. Brimmer is the executive director and CEO of NAFSA, the Association of International Educators. Her career includes three appointments within the U.S. Department of State, serving most recently as the assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs.

Please see her bio below.

In addition, President G. Gabrielle Starr provided a Charge to the Class of 2019, while Laura Zhang ’19, senior class president and Ivan Solomon, Jr. ’19, senior class speaker, addressed the audience. View the entire 2019 Commencement Exercises.

Esther Brimmer

Esther Brimmer ’83 is a foreign policy expert who has held several positions within the U.S. Department of State, including serving as assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs from 2009-2013, where she was responsible for the U.S. diplomatic representation to United Nations locations and its agencies.

Under the Obama administration, she led efforts in multilateral diplomacy to advance human rights and was part of the efforts of the country’s first presentation to the universal periodic review, the process which involves a review of the human rights of all UN member states. Currently, she is the executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Brimmer has served as an academic and researcher at George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She was an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she is a life member. She has been a consultant at McLarty Associates and McKinsey & Company. Brimmer is a member of the Department of Defense National Security Education Board and the executive board of the Atlantic Council. She is the author of numerous articles and the editor of eight books on transatlantic relations and her work has been translated into five languages.

Brimmer received her M.A. and Ph.D. in international relations from Oxford University and her B.A. in international relations from Pomona College. While a student, she participated in Pomona’s study abroad program at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs.

Esther Brimmer’s speech [video]