Charlotte's mayor, Trinidad and Tobago's prime minister, and U.N. under-secretary-general to speak at 2012 convocations

Anthony Foxx '96Kamla Persad-Bissessar Patricia O'BrienAnthony Foxx ’96, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, will address the Class of 2012 at NYU School of Law’s J.D. Convocation on May 18. At the graduate ceremony later the same day, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will speak to graduates, along with Patricia O’Brien, the United Nations’ under-secretary-general for legal affairs and legal counsel.

Foxx, the youngest mayor in Charlotte’s history and only the second African American to hold the office, served for four years on the city council before winning the mayoral election at age 38, and has been praised for his bipartisan collaborative style. Foxx has worked in all branches of the federal government, clerking for Judge Nathaniel Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, working as a trial attorney for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and serving as staff counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. Apart from his part-time job as mayor, he is currently deputy general counsel for hybrid bus manufacturer DesignLine. At NYU Law, Foxx was a Root-Tilden Scholar and a student in the Juvenile Defender Clinic, through which he represented juveniles in Brooklyn’s Family Court.

Persad-Bissessar became the first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. She was previously the first woman to serve as attorney general in that state as well as a member of the parliament, minister of education, and minister of legal affairs. Before pursuing politics, Persad-Bissessar was first a social worker and teacher, and later a lawyer.

O’Brien, the first woman to hold her U.N. position, took on her current role in 2008. Overseeing a staff of more than 200, O’Brien provides legal advice on an array of matters and consults daily with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on political, practical, and management issues. She served formerly as legal adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.

It was previously announced that Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court, a former NYU Law adjunct professor who presided over the Marden Moot Court final competition last month, will be the speaker at NYU’s All-University Commencement on May 16. Sotomayor will receive an honorary doctorate of laws.

Posted on May 2, 2012