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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2010 Commencement

Date & time

May 1, 2010, 6:00-7:30 pm EDT


Weill Hall

The Charge to the Class will be delivered by Michael Pan (MPP '99), Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice. As a member of the Ambassador's personal staff, he is responsible for providing advice on U.S. policies at the United Nations on human rights, peacekeeping, development, and management issues. During last year's meeting of the UN General Assembly, he served as the control officer for President Obama's first visit to the United Nations.

Prior to joining the Administration, he served on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and was the Deputy Director of the Washington Office of Human Rights Watch. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the First Officer for Human Rights in the Executive Office of the Secretary- General at the United Nations, where he was the primary staff aide to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for issues pertaining to human rights, transitional justice, and the rule of law. Also during his tenure at the United Nations, he served on the transition team for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and was a Political Advisor in the Office of Legal Affairs, specializing on the UN's assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia.

Michael previously worked at the Center for American Progress where he was the Senior Policy Analyst for National Security and International Policy, specializing in counterterrorism and homeland security. In 2003, he was a National Security Issues Coordinator for Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign.

From 2002 to 2003, he served as the Political Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a West Africa-based tribunal mandated to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the country's decade-long civil war. During his tenure, the Office of the Prosecutor indicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting head-of-state to be indicted by an international court.

Prior to his time in Freetown, he was an associate and coordinator of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. Pan served in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations as the senior legislative aide for United Nations and human rights issues at the U.S. Department of State. Earlier in his career, Michael was the Special Assistant for the Department's Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and a member of the U.S. delegation to negotiations on the creation of the International Criminal Court.

Michael has done various consultancies with the Open Society Justice Initiative, the International Human Rights Law Group, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He is a published author and media commentator on human rights, the United Nations, and homeland security. He graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College and holds an MPP from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he was a Woodrow Wilson International Affairs Fellow.


Ford School students receiving BA, MPP, MPA, or PhD degrees are eligible to participate. In addition, students enrolled in joint degree programs who wish to participate in graduation with their entering class may do so.

Graduation Events

Commencement RehearsalRackham Graduate SchoolApril 21, 10 a.m.
Rackham Graduate ExercisesHill AuditoriumApril 30, 1 p.m.
Ford School Open HouseJoan and Sanford Weill HallApril 30, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
University CommencementMichigan StadiumMay 1, 11:00 a.m.
Ford School CommencementRackham Graduate SchoolMay 1, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Guests of graduates: the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for Ford School Commencement and there is plenty of seating available.

A video of the Ford School's commencement ceremony will be available on our website under 'Multimedia' on May 7, 2010.

Ford School Commencement Rehearsal

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Rackham Auditorium

If you plan to participate in the Ford School Commencement ceremony please plan to attend rehearsal. The class photos will also be taken during this time. Dress is casual. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will be providing lunch.


Accommodations in and around Ann Arbor for commencement weekend require reservations well in advance. For a list of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts in the Ann Arbor vicinity please visit

Ford School Open House

The Ford School will host a Graduation Open House at Weill Hall on Friday, April 30 from 3:00-5:00 pm. All students, family, and friends are welcome to come and meet the faculty and staff of the Ford School and tour the classrooms, public spaces, and suites of Weill Hall, which opened its doors just four years ago. Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be offered.


Parking is at a premium around campus and especially during commencement weekend. Please allow ample time to find parking.

From April 30-May 2, parking without permits is available in all university parking structures and surface parking lots. To attend our Open House, the Hill Street Parking Structure and the Thompson St. Parking Structure are closest to Weill Hall; both provide handicapped parking. There is also meter parking on State, Oakland, and Monroe streets. To attend the Ford School Commencement the U-M parking structures on Thayer Street, Fletcher Street, Church Street, and the Palmer Commons structure are closest to the Rackham Auditorium and provide handicapped parking. For more information on university parking please visit

Paid parking is available in a number of public lots around town as well. The public parking structures closest to the Rackham Auditorium are the Maynard Street and the Liberty Square structures. For a map of Ann Arbor public parking structures please visit


Standard graduation announcements may be purchased at Ulrich's or the Michigan Union Bookstore. Personalized announcements take up to two weeks to print.


Diploma Information: In order to receive a diploma, students MUST apply to graduate through Wolverine Access. Diplomas are mailed approximately 8-12 weeks after graduation to the address specified by the student when he/she applies to graduate online through Wolverine Access. Students who have a hold (financial or other) on their account will not receive a diploma until the hold has been resolved. PhD graduates attending the Rackham Graduate Exercises will receive their diplomas at the program.

For more information about diplomas, or to order additional copies of a diploma, please visit the Office of the Registrar and search for 'diploma'.

Academic Attire

Graduates participating in any University of Michigan commencement ceremony must wear academic attire. Masters and PhD students are responsible for purchasing a robe, hat, tassel, and academic hood. The color of the hood for public policy is teal. Undergraduate students are responsible for purchasing a robe, hat, and tassel. These items are available at the Michigan Union Bookstore or Michigan Book and Supply.

Day of Commencement

Graduating students: please be at the Rackham Auditorium by 5:30 p.m. on May 1. If you are driving to campus please plan to be looking for a parking spot by 5:00 p.m. The Fletcher, Thayer, Church, and Palmer Structures are the four closest structures. For locations of parking structures go to


For more information or questions regarding Commencement please call the Communications and Outreach Department at (734) 615-3893.

If you are a person with a disability who may need an accommodation to attend or participate in the Ford School Commencement, please contact Jill Crane, 734 615-3893 by April 22, 2010.

Important U-M Contact Information:

University Commencement Hotline

Campus Information Center

Diploma and Transcript Office
Office of the Registrar and search for 'diplomas'