CAMBRIDGE MA – Ohio Governor John R. Kasich will deliver the graduation address to the Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2018, Dean Douglas Elmendorf announced today. 

Kasich was elected governor of Ohio in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. During his time in office, Kasich has worked to improve the state’s economy and has closed an $8 billion budget shortfall while reducing state income taxes and eliminating the state’s estate tax. He has also prioritized state infrastructure projects, innovation in education, and tackling the opioid epidemic. Ohio has added almost 500,000 jobs during Kasich’s tenure.

Prior to his election as governor, Kasich served in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 2001, representing Ohio’s 12th Congressional district. Kasich served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and in 1993 became chairman of the House Budget Committee. Kasich played a key role in crafting the deal that resulted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

“Governor Kasich is a truly committed public servant who has gained respect from citizens and colleagues on both sides of the political aisle over a long and distinguished career,” Elmendorf said. “We are honored and delighted that he will deliver the graduation address to the Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2018." 

After leaving Congress and running for president in 2000, Kasich served as a managing director in the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers, as a commentator for Fox News, and as a presidential fellow at his alma mater, The Ohio State University. In the 2016 Republican presidential race, Kasich won the Ohio primary before suspending his campaign.

A 1974 graduate of The Ohio State University, Kasich is also author of four New York Times best-sellers: Courage is Contagious; Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul; Every Other Monday; and most recently Two Paths: America United or Divided, which reflects on his 2016 presidential campaign and his hopes for America’s future.

The graduation address will be delivered at 2 p.m. on May 23 at Harvard Kennedy School. It will be live-streamed on the School’s website: Journalists interested in covering the address should contact the School’s Communications Office at 617-495-1115.


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