(AUSTIN, Texas) – Jaime Lizárraga, a 1990 graduate of the LBJ School, returns to The University of Texas at Austin on May 6 to deliver the graduation address to the class of 2023.
“It is an honor to deliver the commencement address to the LBJ School Class of 2023, and to their friends and families," Mr. Lizárraga said. "I’m excited to meet the next generation of leaders who will offer their talents to foster positive change and to address the many public policy challenges facing our country.”
Mr. Lizárraga now serves as a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was nominated by President Joe Biden, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn into office on July 18, 2022. Before being nominated to the Commission, Mr. Lizárraga served as senior adviser to Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi. In that role, he oversaw issues related to financial markets, small business, housing, international finance and immigration. He also served as Speaker Pelosi's liaison to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Throughout his 32-year career in public service, Mr. Lizárraga has advised Congressional leaders and heads of executive agencies on policy and legislative strategy. He previously served on the Democratic staff of the House Financial Services Committee, and as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mr. Lizárraga earned his bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of California, San Diego and earned a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas.
“Mr. Lizárraga represents the best of the LBJ School,” said JR DeShazo, dean of the LBJ School. “The public service arena is in urgent need of what LBJ graduates like him do best: address big challenges to get big things done.”
During the ceremony, Mr. Lizárraga will address a crowd of approximately 500 people, including 170 graduates and their guests. These students will have earned master's degrees in public affairs (MPAff), global policy studies (MGPS) and federal policy (DC Concentration), and Ph.D.’s in public policy.
The LBJ School graduation ceremony will take place before the university-wide commencement ceremony in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The UT-wide ceremony will also include the conferring of degrees by President Jay Hartzell, the traditional lighting of the Tower in orange to honor graduates, and a fireworks display.
Mr. Lizárraga is the fourth LBJ alumnus to speak at the LBJ School's Commencement. Previous alumni speakers include:
- 1999, Kenneth S. Apfel, U.S. Commissioner of Social Security (MPAff '78)
- 2012, Bill Owens, Former Governor of Colorado (MPAff '75)
- 2016, Laura Huffman, state director, Nature Conservancy of Texas (MPAff '91)
Victoria Yu, LBJ School of Public Affairs