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Thomas University’s Commencement slated for May 6

More than 370 students will receive degrees during Thomas University’s annual Commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Ben Grace Historic Quadrangle on TU’s Forbes Campus. Associate, bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist degrees will be presented.

The Commencement speaker will be Charles W. Dunne, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, the oldest Washington-based institution dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East. MEI has a reputation as an unbiased source of information and analysis on the Middle East. MEI remains a respected, non-partisan voice in the field of Middle East studies.

Dunne is also a member of the John Hay Initiative and advised two presidential campaigns on Near East policy. For 24 years he served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, where he served overseas in Cairo, Egypt; Jerusalem, Israel; and Madras, India. Dunne served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy at the Joint Staff in the Pentagon from 2007 to 2008.

From 2011 to 2015, Dunne was director for Middle East and North Africa programs at the Freedom House, where he focused on human rights and democracy promotion in the Middle East. Previously he was Director for Iraq at the National Security Council from 2005 to 2007. Dunne served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he contributed to the development of presidential initiatives to advance political reform and democracy in the Broader Middle East and North Africa.

Dunne is frequently a guest on media outlets such as al-Jazeera and al-Hurra. He has also appeared on CBS, Fox and NPR. Dunne has written for numerous publications, including the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the American Interest and The National in Dubai. Dunne is a member of the Democracy and Human Rights Working Group of the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service and a master’s degree in Arab Studies, both from Georgetown University.

For more information about TU’s Commencement, please visit

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