Deb Haaland, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, will be this year’s speaker for Class Day ceremonies at Harvard Law School, the dean of students and Class of 2024 marshals announced today. Class Day will take place on the Harvard Law School campus on May 22, 2024.

Throughout her career in public service, Haaland has broken barriers and opened the doors of opportunity for future generations. As an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, she was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 18, 2021, as the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.

From 2019 to 2021, Haaland served as U.S. representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. One of the first Native American women elected to Congress, she was vice chair of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources and chair of its Subcommittee on Federal Lands. She also led the passage of the Not Invisible Act, the first bill in history introduced and passed by four congressional members enrolled in federally recognized tribes.

A 35th generation New Mexican, Haaland earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Mexico and her J.D. from University of New Mexico School of Law. She grew up in a military family. Her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving six lives in Vietnam. Her mother was a Navy veteran who served as a federal employee for 25 years at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As a military child, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque. 

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