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Writer and Journalist Alan Riding Delivers 2011 Commencement Address at American Graduate School in Paris

PARIS, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking place on June 17 in Paris, the annual graduation ceremony of the American Graduate School in Paris (AGS – featured writer and journalist Alan Riding as the commencement speaker. The graduating class was composed of thirty-six students representing twelve different national origins: United States, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Ireland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, and Mongolia. Commencement exercises were followed by a graduation dinner in the French Senate.

Twenty-nine graduates were awarded the degree of Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy, in partnership with Arcadia University (Pennsylvania, USA); one graduate was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in International Relations and Diplomacy, and six graduates were awarded the degree of Executive Master of Science in Finance, in partnership with Baruch College at the City University of New York (New York, USA). In addition, thirteen of the Master's graduates, having followed one of the dual programs offered at AGS, are also being awarded a second Master's degree from one of AGS's partner universities (see more information at

Born in Brazil to British parents, Alan Riding ( studied economics and law before becoming a journalist and writer. Working successively for Reuters, The Financial Times, The Economist and The New York Times, he reported from the United Nations in New York, Latin America, and Western Europe. For much of his career, Riding covered political and economic affairs. During the final twelve years before he retired from journalism in 2007, he was the European cultural correspondant for The New York Times, based in Paris. He is the author of the best-selling books And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris (New York: Knopf, 2010) and Distant Neighbors: Portrait of the Mexicans (New York : Knopf, 1985), as well as co-author of Opera (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2006) and Essential Shakespeare Handbook (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2004). 

About the American Graduate School in Paris, Riding writes: "The best pitch for AGS has to come from its graduates, those who have been through this enriching - some say life-changing - experience and emerged the better for it. The next best pitch, I suspect, is from someone like me, who did not attend the school, but wishes he had. That is my feeling whenever I attend a graduation ceremony. As a small institution, AGS ensures high academic standards by treating every student as an individual. Based in Paris, it offers access to major international organizations. And, as important, thanks to its cultural and language diversity, the school itself is something of a United Nations. Who doubts that today's world is infinitely complex? Graduates of AGS emerge, both personally and professionally, equipped to address it."

The American Graduate School in Paris is a nonprofit institution of higher education located in France which offers US-accredited programs, delivered in English, to students from around the world. The school specializes in Business, Finance, and Economics (, as well as in International Relations, Diplomacy, and International Affairs (

Previous commencement speakers at AGS include French Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppe, former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard,  Pulitzer Prize winner Serge Schmemann, and former Lebanese Ambassador to Japan and UNESCO H.E. Samira Hanna-El-Daher, among others.

For more information:

Read Alan Riding's Commencement Address

Contact: Corentine +33(0)1 47 20 00 94

SOURCE American Graduate School in Paris

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