Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2023 - March 13, 2023

March 13, 2023

Dear Seniors,

I am honored to announce that United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will speak at Gettysburg College’s 188th Commencement Ceremony on May 13.

As the second-highest ranking official in the State Department, Deputy Secretary Sherman works alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken to formulate and conduct United States foreign policy and direct all elements of the Department’s work. She is the first woman Deputy Secretary of State in U.S. history, and she was the first woman Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Deputy Secretary Sherman has served in the administrations of three U.S. presidents. From 2011 to 2015 as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Deputy Secretary Sherman traveled to 54 countries and led the U.S. negotiating team that reached agreement on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—plus Germany, the European Union, and Iran, for which, among other diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.

She previously served at the State Department as Counselor under Secretary Madeleine Albright, as Special Advisor to President Bill Clinton and Policy Coordinator on North Korea, and as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under Secretary Warren Christopher. Deputy Secretary Sherman also served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, was Chair of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America, and served on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board and Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism.

Trained as a community organizer and clinical social worker, Deputy Secretary Sherman worked early in her career as Director of Child Welfare for the State of Maryland. Later, she managed Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, served as Director of EMILY’s List, and ran Campaign ’88 at the Democratic National Committee for the Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. She is the author of Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence, which was published in 2018.

Deputy Secretary Sherman was born in Baltimore and raised just an hour south of Gettysburg in Pikesville, Maryland. She attended Smith College and received her B.A. in sociology and urban studies from Boston University, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland.

On behalf of our entire Gettysburg College community, especially our Class of 2023, I am honored to welcome Deputy Secretary Sherman to our campus for this year’s Commencement ceremony. Her work matters. She builds bridges around the globe and her path is opening doors for generations of young leaders—like you—to follow. I know her comments will inspire you to go forth and lead lives of consequence in service to others and the greater good.


Bob Iuliano