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Plymouth State University commencement speaker is an advocate for world peace

PLYMOUTH - Plymouth State University has announced that a former president of the United States Institute of Peace will be its speaker for the university's 142nd commencement ceremony May 18.

Richard H. Solomon, described by PSU officials as "a world-renowned advocate for peace," retired last year after 19 years at the institute, which describes itself as a nonpartisan federal agency working to promote international conflict resolution through non-violent methods.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said Solomon has "an extraordinary reputation for negotiation and diplomacy involving some of the world's most complex geopolitical problems."

"Richard Solomon has dedicated his talent and energy to making others' lives better, to negotiating peace and advocating for justice. The settlements he has helped negotiate and the thought and analysis he has brought to decision-making have positively affected millions of lives. His accomplishments and his service are extraordinary."

Solomon has been credited with the successful negotiations of the Cambodia peace treaty and the first United Nations "Permanent Five" peacemaking agreement, according to PSU officials. He has been recognized for his service with the State Department's Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service and has been honored awards for policy initiatives from Korea and Thailand.

In 2005, he received the American Political Science Association's Hubert H. Humphrey career award for "notable public service by a political scientist."

Solomon holds a doctorate in political science, with a specialization in Chinese politics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the Philippines.

Solomon will address more than 1,200 graduates at the unified commencement ceremony, which includes awarding both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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