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Political Commentator Jamal Simmons ’93 to Address Graduates During 2009 Summer Commencement

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Political commentator Jamal Simmons ’93 will offer words of advice and encouragement to approximately 100 members of the Class of 2009 who will graduate during Summer Commencement on Saturday, July 18. They join the 440 members of the class who graduated during the Spring Commencement ceremony.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. African drummers will lead the soon-to-be Morehouse Men through the heart of campus into the Chapel where Simmons will speak.

Simmons, who will also receive the Presidential Award of Distinction, is a principal with The Raben Group, a Washington, D.C. –based consulting firm. But Simmons is best known for his interesting and in-depth opinions that helped frame the historic 2008 presidential election. He continues to be a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Simmons also has been featured in USA Today, The New York Times and GQ magazine.

Simmons is a veteran of Democratic politics after getting his start managing logistics for national reporters during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Clinton appointed him to a position under U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. In 2000, Simmons worked in the middle of another historic election when he managed media relations in 40 states as a communications aide for Al Gore. He spent four weeks in West Palm Beach, Fla., as a Gore spokesman during that election’s historic ballot recount.

Simmons has served as traveling press secretary for two presidential campaigns; was chief of staff for U.S. Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; and advised Nevada Democrats, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama/Biden Campaign for the 2008 election.

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