Three to receive honorary degrees at Williams’ 234th commencement.

Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp will be the principal speaker at Williams College’s 234th Commencement Exercise on Sunday, June 4, 2023. The day before, U.S. Holocaust Museum Director Sara Bloomfield will deliver the college’s Baccalaureate lecture. Krupp and Bloomfield, as well as Williams’ Dean of Faculty and John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professor of Psychology Safa Zaki, who was recently named Bowdoin College’s next president, will each receive honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degrees during the Commencement ceremony.

2023 Honorary Degree Recipients

Headshot of Fred KruppFred Krupp is the president of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a global nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in New York City. In this role for more than three decades, Krupp is a leading voice on climate change, energy, and sustainability. Under his leadership, EDF has become one of the world’s most influential environmental organizations with staff in more than two dozen countries. He successfully advocated for dramatic reductions in the pollution that causes acid rain, focused international attention on the problem of methane emissions from the oil-and-gas industry, elevated the challenges of hydrogen fuel and led EDF’s corporate partnerships with FedEx, KKR, McDonald’s, Walmart, and others. Krupp was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report and is a recipient of the 2015 William K. Reilly Environmental Leadership Award, among others. He is co-author with Miriam Horn of the New York Times bestseller Earth: The Sequel—The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School, Krupp has taught environmental law at both schools, and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Haverford College. He is currently a trustee at Yale. He has served on boards for numerous environmental organizations and on councils advising Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He is also an avid rower, who won a gold medal in the 2006 World Rowing Masters Regatta.

Headshot of Sara J. BloomfieldSara J. Bloomfield has led the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for 24 years, working to build a global institution that raises Holocaust awareness, deepens understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust, confronts denial, and advances genocide prevention. She serves on the International Auschwitz Council and is a recipient of the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and five honorary doctorates. She joined the planning staff of the museum in 1986 when it was still a project in development and served in a variety of roles before becoming director in 1999. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Bloomfield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in education from John Carroll University and has studied business administration at the graduate level. Ms. Bloomfield is the 2021 recipient of the Roger E. Joseph Prize, awarded annually for exceptional work in the field of human rights and Jewish survival.

Photo of Safa ZakiSafa Zaki, Dean of Faculty and John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professor of Psychology at Williams, is a psychologist and cognitive scientist whose research focuses on how people divide the world into categories. Zaki is currently responsible for the curriculum at Williams and for the recruitment, appointment, and promotion of faculty. She oversees academic departments and programs, including their budgets and personnel, graduate programs, athletics, the grants office, the Rice Center for Teaching, the Center for Global Languages, Literatures & Cultures, the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center for Environmental Studies, the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University, and the Williams-Mystic Program. Zaki has served on the Committee on Appointments & Promotions and the Faculty Steering Committee, which she chaired. She also chaired the Committee on Priorities and Resources and was a member of the most recent presidential search committee at Williams.. Zaki joined the faculty at Williams in 2002 as assistant professor of psychology, after serving previously as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. She was promoted to associate professor at Williams in 2005 and to full professor in 2010. She twice chaired the Williams Program in Cognitive Science and was named Class of 1924 Professor of Psychology in 2021. She was named to the John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professorship in 2022. In March 2023 Zaki was named the 16th president of Bowdoin College and will start the position in July.

Published March 15, 2023