Former New York University President John Sexton will be Asian University for Women’s 2020 Commencement Speaker; an Indian economist, a Pakistani actress, and a Swiss educator will receive honorary degrees

CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH - Media OutReach - 23 January 2020 -  Professor John Sexton, a U.S. national, who served as the fifteenth President of New York University (NYU) and whose vision and leadership led to the creation of New York University Shanghai and Abu Dhabi campuses, will be the Commencement Speaker at the Eighth Commencement of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Saturday, May 9, 2020.  A law professor, who also served as Dean of NYU Law School, John Sexton is the author of the leading American casebook on civil procedure as well as several other books, including, Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game and Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age. Professor Sexton will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the Commencement.

John Sexton


Andrea Schenker-Wicki


Gita Gopinath


Meesha Shafi

Three others will receive honorary degrees from the Asian University for Women during the Commencement Proceedings.  Andrea Schenker-Wicki, a Swiss national, who serves as the President of the University of Basel, will receive a Doctor of Laws; Gita Gopinath, who was born in Kolkata and serves as the first female Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (where she is on leave from her position as John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University) will receive a Doctor of Laws; and Meesha Shafi, the noted Pakistani actress and singer who made her film debut in the Hollywood production of A Reluctant Fundamentalist, will receive a Doctor of Arts.

AUW expects that 123 students from 12 countries will graduate at the Eighth Commencement. The Eighth AUW Commencement will be chaired by AUW Chancellor Mrs. Cherie Blair, CBE, of the United Kingdom and AUW Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Dipu Moni (who is also the Bangladeshi Minister of Education). Professor Nirmala Rao, OBE, FAcSS, Vice Chancellor of AUW, will officiate the program.

About Asian University for Women (AUW):
About Asian University for Women (AUW):

Founded in 2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, AUW is the first of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women's education and leadership development -- international in outlook but rooted in the contexts and aspirations of the people of Asia. Chartered by the Parliament of Bangladesh, AUW exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders, entrepreneurs, and change makers from across the region. It seeks out women who have significant academic potential, demonstrate courage and a sense of outrage at injustice, and are empathic to the woes of other people.

Almost 900 students from 18 countries attend AUW: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Syria, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and Yemen. More than 85% of AUW students are on full or near-full scholarships funded by supporters from around the world. The University has graduated more than 800 students. A majority of AUW graduates secure employment in the private and public sectors in their home countries, while about 25% go on to pursue graduate studies at other institutions of higher learning including Oxford, Stanford, Columbia, New York University, Duke, Surrey, SOAS, and Ewha, among others.

To learn more about Asian University for Women, please visit


Asian University for Women




23 Jan 2020



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