February 13, 2017, BY Matt Hughes

Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria is Bucknell's 2017 Commencement speaker.

Journalist and author Fareed Zakaria will address the Class of 2017 at Bucknell University's 167th Commencement on May 21.

The host of CNN's flagship foreign-affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Zakaria is also a weekly columnist for The Washington Post and New York Times-bestselling author. His latest book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, argues for the continued relevance of the liberal arts in the face of increasing political criticism and focus on job-readiness.

"Fareed Zakaria has traveled the path on which our graduates are about to set out: the search for personal and professional success built on the foundation of a liberal arts education." said Bucknell President John Bravman. "In addition to championing the liberal arts, Mr. Zakaria possesses a vast knowledge of public affairs, and I believe the members of the Class of 2017 will benefit greatly from his insights and perspective on the world around us."

"We are honored that Fareed Zakaria accepted our invitation to speak at Commencement," said senior class president Danielle Taylor. "He has the rich and interesting life experiences my fellow class officers and I are looking for in a speaker, and we're excited for the wisdom and inspiration he has for the Class of 2017 at this pivotal moment in our lives."

Since 2008, Zakaria has hosted the weekly public-affairs program GPS on CNN, where he has conducted extended interviews with high-ranking U.S. elected officials and foreign heads of state as well as intellectual and business leaders. Prior to moving to CNN, he hosted the weekly news show Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on PBS from 2005 to 2008 and was a news analyst for ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos from 2002 to 2007.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in India and educated at Yale and Harvard, Zakaria became the youngest managing editor of Foreign Affairs at age 28. He was the editor of Newsweek International from 2000 to 2010 and editor-at-large at TIME from 2010 to 2014. He currently writes a weekly column for The Washington Post and is a contributing editor for the Atlantic Media Group.

Named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2010, Zakaria has been praised for his deep knowledge of foreign relations and a diverse and nuanced political outlook. His book The Post-American World, an international bestseller first released in 2008 and updated in 2011, was called "a relentlessly intelligent book" by The New York Times. In it, Zakaria analyzes the growth of nations such as China, India and Brazil, and what it means for the future. His previous book, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, examines the variables that allow liberal democracies to flourish, and the pros and cons of the global focus on democracy.

Accolades for Zakaria's work include a 2012 Peabody Award, several Emmy nominations for GPS, a National Magazine Award, two Overseas Press Club Awards and the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award conferred by the government of India.

Commencement 2017
Bucknell University's 167th Commencement celebration will be held on the Malesardi Quadrangle on Sunday, May 21, beginning at 10 a.m. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be live streamed. The ceremony will also be shown in Trout Auditorium in the Vaughan Literature Building. For a complete schedule of Commencement events, registration and general information, visit Commencement 2017.