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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

David Gressly, pictured above, will address Northwest graduates and their families during the University’s summer commencement ceremony Thursday, Aug. 1. He is the assistant secretary general for the United Nations. (Submitted photo)

David Gressly, pictured above, will address Northwest graduates and their families during the University’s summer commencement ceremony Thursday, Aug. 1. He is the assistant secretary general for the United Nations. (Submitted photo)

July 12, 2013

Humanitarian to address summer commencement ceremony

David Gressly, assistant secretary general for the United Nations, will address Northwest Missouri State University graduates and their families during the University’s summer commencement ceremony Thursday, Aug. 1.   

“We are very pleased to have David joining us for our summer commencement ceremony,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “David has been impactful in his pursuits, and his message to our students and audience will certainly provide a unique and critical international perspective. He is a dedicated servant for humanitarian needs and a model citizen. He is an inspiration to all of us and crosses a plethora of disciplines – education, agriculture, business, service and community development, to name a few.” 

In his current role, Gressly, a graduate of Nodaway-Holt High School in Graham, is the acting head of mission for the U.N. multi-dimensional integrated stabilization mission in Mali. He is responsible for humanitarian responses, such as donating food, sustaining agriculture and destroying rocket-propelled grenades; conflict recovery, including rebuilding schools and providing access to electricity; and country development, such as improving roads, education systems, government and elections.

Previously, Gressly was regional humanitarian for Africa’s Sahel Rural Health Clinic between April 2012 and March 2013. He was responsible for coordinating humanitarian responses to the Sahel crisis, which included chronic food insecurity, malnutrition, frequent droughts and floods in previous years. He led the effort to mobilize $1.2 billion that provided food assistance to more than 10 million people and provided treatment to nearly 1 million children for severe malnutrition.

He also served as U.N. regional coordinator for Southern Sudan from 2008 to 2011, and he was the deputy resident and humanitarian coordinator for Southern Sudan from 2004 to 2008. In these roles, he coordinated support and established recovery funds to aid to the new government of Southern Sudan.

Additionally, Gressly served as the UNICEF deputy representative in India, representative in Guinea, regional operations officer for West Africa and operations officer in Nigeria. Prior to joining UNICEF, he worked in Washington, D.C., as the director of planning and budget for the U.S. Peace Corps. He also was the Peace Corps country director in Mauritania and began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, working in cooperative management.

Gressly holds a Master of Business Administration from Thunderbird School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz., and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He lives in Arizona with his wife and his six children.

Northwest’s summer commencement ceremony is set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1, in Bearcat Arena. More than 240 students from Northwest’s three colleges and graduate school are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, education specialist degrees or certifications. The general public may watch the ceremony live via an online video stream at www.nwmissouri.edu/live.

Graduates along with their families and friends also are invited to interact with Northwest’s social media before, during and after the commencement ceremonies. Users may share their graduation memories on Twitter by using the hashtag #nw13, or submit graduation photos to Northwest’s Flickr feed. Photos can be taken with a mobile phone and sent to nw13@nwmissouri.edu. Submitted photos will appear immediately on Northwest’s Flickr page at www.flickr.com/nwmostate/.

Candidates for graduation may pick up caps and gowns at the Student Services Center on the first floor of the Administration Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 29, through Thursday, Aug. 1, or one hour before the ceremony, Aug. 1, at the Student Recreation Center.

Complete details about summer commencement at Northwest are posted on the Senior Spot Web site, www.nwmissouri.edu/commencement.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468