168th Commencement: Watch Live
Albany Law School and the Government Law Center today announced that four distinguished graduates will be honored at the 2017 Alumni in Government Awards, including the Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack ’75, who will receive the Honorable James P. King '59 Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year's ceremony will be held Thursday, April 27, at 11 a.m. at Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street, Albany, N.Y. The awards will be presented to:
The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack ’75 President and CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council 30th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture 40th Governor of IowaThe Honorable James P. King '59 Lifetime Achievement in Public Service Award
The Honorable Richard S. Hartunian ’86 U.S. Attorney, Northern District of New YorkDistinguished Alumnus in Government Award
Renee Zirpolo Merges, Esq. ’83 Assistant District Attorney, Albany County Judicial CenterUnsung Hero in Government Award
Kendra Jenkins Rubin, Esq. ’12 Assistant Counsel, New York State Governor's OfficeRising Star in Government Award
"We are thrilled to welcome Secretary Vilsack back to Albany," said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette, "both to celebrate his stellar career and to share with him the accomplishments of our graduates currently serving the public good."
"Albany Law School will always hold a special place to me. That is where I received the tools to thrive as a lawyer and in public service," Vilsack said. "This is an honor, and one I am delighted to accept from my alma mater."
Vilsack joined the United States Dairy Export Council as President and CEO on February 1, 2017. From 2009 to 2017 he served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture and was President Barack Obama's longest-serving Cabinet Secretary. In 1999, Vilsack took office as the 40th Governor of Iowa, serving two terms. He served in the Iowa State Senate from 1993 to 1999 and was mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, from 1987 to 1992.
Vilsack earned his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in 1972 and his J.D. from Albany Law School in 1975.
Last year, Vilsack spoke with a delegation of Albany Law School graduates who were in Washington, D.C., for group admission to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. In May 2014 he delivered the keynote at Albany Law School's 163rd commencement. He visited campus in October 2007 to meet with students and receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Alumni in Government Awards are presented to Albany Law School graduates chosen for their outstanding commitment to public service, career accomplishments, and contributions in the areas of government and public service. Albany Law School was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for preparing students for careers in government by
preLaw magazine in 2016.
Registration is $30, or $20 for recent Albany Law graduates (2012-2017). To register,
click here or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 445-3220.