The Middlebury Institute of International Studies has announced that former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Benjamin Jealous will be the commencement speaker for the 2019 Spring Commencement Ceremony.
In 2008, Jealous became the youngest person to hold the title as president of the organization. Before his time at the NAACP, Jealous was director of the U.S. Human Rights Program at Amnesty International.
He also serves as board chairman of the Southern Elections Fund and is a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.
As NAACP president, Jealous implemented national programs on health, criminal justice, environmental justice and voting rights. He also expanded current programs and launched the NAACP Financial Freedom Center that offers financial education and banking resources to the public, according to a Middlebury release.
In 2018, Jealous ran for governor of Maryland, where he won the Democratic Party’s nomination in the primary election, but lost the general election to the incumbent Republican governor, Larry Hogan.
Jealous received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University and a master’s degree in comparative social research from St. Antony’s College, Oxford, where he also was a Rhodes Scholar.
The Middlebury commencement ceremony will take place on May 18 on Colton Hall Lawn in downtown Monterey.