Jagdish Bhag­wati, a renowned econ­o­mist and a chief pro­po­nent of free trade, has been named the after­noon speaker at North­eastern University’s com­mence­ment on May 7 for the class of 2010.

Born in India, Bhag­wati is cur­rently the Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor at Columbia Uni­ver­sity and­Se­nior Fel­lowfor Inter­na­tional Eco­nomics at the Council on For­eign Rela­tions. He is also a director of the National Bureau of Eco­nomic Research.

Bhag­wati is a highly regarded expert on eco­nomic issues who has served in mul­tiple key advi­sory roles, including as a spe­cial advisor to the United Nations on glob­al­iza­tion and as an external advisor to the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion. From 1991 to 1993, he was an eco­nomic policy advisor to the Director-​​General of the Gen­eral Agree­ment on Tar­iffs and Trade.

Jagdish Bhagwati’s bril­liant schol­ar­ship has had a sig­nif­i­cant impact on both the dis­ci­pline of eco­nomics and on the way we under­stand glob­al­iza­tion and free trade today,” said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun, “His life’s work is emblem­atic of Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to con­ducting research that adds to the foun­da­tion of knowl­edge and addresses soci­etal concerns.”

Bhag­wati was also an advisor on eco­nomic reforms to India’s former Finance Min­ister, Man­mohan Singh, who is now the Prime Min­ister. The reforms he helped imple­ment have been cred­ited to accel­er­ating the country’s eco­nomic growth and global eco­nomic status. His work has also focused on reducing poverty across the world.

A highly acclaimed author, Bhag­wati has received acco­lades for his most recent books– “Free Trade Today” (2002), “In Defense of Glob­al­iza­tion” (2004) and “Ter­mites in the Trading System: How Pref­er­en­tial Agree­ments Under­mine Free Trade” (2008). In addi­tion to his exten­sive schol­arly writ­ings, he has also been pub­lished widely in main­stream media, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Finan­cial Times.

Bhag­wati will also receive an hon­orary degree at com­mence­ment. The after­noon cer­e­mony for advanced degree recip­i­ents will take place at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena at 3:30 p.m.

The pre­vi­ously announced after­noon com­mence­ment speaker, C. K. Pra­halad, a dis­tin­guished pro­fessor at the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan and promi­nent cor­po­rate strate­gist, passed away on Friday, April 16 after a brief ill­ness. He was 68 years old.