Austin Beutner, the newly appointed superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, will deliver the keynote address at Woodbury University’s graduation ceremonies on May 12.
“Woodbury University is a Los Angeles success story more than 130 years in the making, and I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to address the Class of 2018 and the Woodbury community at large,” said Beutner in a statement.
Beutner, a former investment banker and philanthropist, was elected to head the nation’s second-largest school district by the LAUSD board on Tuesday. The move was seen as controversial as many have criticized the board for selecting a businessperson instead of someone with experience in education.
In addition to co-founding the investment firm Evercore Partners Inc., Beutner served as deputy mayor of Los Angeles under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and as the publisher of the Los Angeles Times from 2014 to 2015. He also founded Vision to Learn, a nonprofit that provides free eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities.
“From business to government, from education to philanthropy, from journalism to the broadest kind of civic and cultural engagement, he’s been there and done that, with distinction,” said Woodbury President David Steele-Figueredo in a statement. “He is animated by a spirit of social entrepreneurship that simply doesn’t quit, which is why we’re so delighted to welcome him as this year’s graduation speaker.”