Former Sec­re­tary of State Colin L. Powell will lead an esteemed group of global leaders and inno­va­tors receiving hon­orary degrees this year at North­eastern University’s com­mence­ment exercises.

Powell will deliver the 110th com­mence­ment address to 20,000 under­grad­u­ates, family mem­bers, friends and uni­ver­sity leaders on May 4, 2012, at TD Garden in Boston. Powell will receive an hon­orary degree as part of the ceremony.

Also receiving hon­orary degrees this year are: Jacque­line A. Berrien, chair of the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­nity Com­mis­sion; David S. Fer­riero, LA’72, MA’76, the 10th Archivist of the United States; Kun­toro Mangkusub­roto, ME’77, head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Devel­op­ment Mon­i­toring and Over­sight in Indonesia; Judith Rodin, pres­i­dent of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion; and Sy Stern­berg, ME’68, chair of North­eastern University’s Board of Trustees.

This year’s hon­orary degree recip­i­ents reflect the char­acter of North­eastern, a uni­ver­sity com­mitted to public ser­vice, entre­pre­neur­ship, aca­d­emic dis­covery and lead­er­ship on the global stage,” said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. “We wel­come their col­lec­tive wisdom and we are proud to call them mem­bers of the North­eastern family.”

Fer­riero will address grad­uate stu­dents and receive his hon­orary degree at the after­noon cer­e­mony in Matthews Arena. Berrien will deliver the School of Law’s com­mence­ment cer­e­mony and will receive her hon­orary degree on May 25.

Colin Powell – Doctor of Public Service

For more than 50 years, Gen­eral Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public ser­vice, holding senior mil­i­tary and diplo­matic posi­tions across four pres­i­den­tial admin­is­tra­tions. His deep com­mit­ment to demo­c­ratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.

As Sec­re­tary of State under Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, Powell led major efforts to solve regional and civil con­flicts across the globe. In each case, he used the power of diplo­macy to trans­form unstable regions into areas where soci­eties and cul­tures have the poten­tial to prosper.

Powell served under Pres­i­dent George H. W. Bush and Pres­i­dent William J. Clinton as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the youngest officer, first ROTC grad­uate and first African Amer­ican to hold the posi­tion. In that role, he oversaw U.S. mil­i­tary oper­a­tions during numerous inter­na­tional crises, most notably Oper­a­tion Desert Storm in the vic­to­rious 1991 Per­sian Gulf War and during the 1989 Panama inter­ven­tion. Pre­vi­ously, Powell was Pres­i­dent Ronald Reagan’s National Secu­rity Advisor.

Cur­rently, he is a strategic lim­ited partner at renowned Sil­icon Valley venture-​​capital firm Kleiner Perkins Cau­field & Byers, and is on the board of Bloom Energy. He also serves on the board of the Council on For­eign Relations.

The son of Jamaican immi­grants, Powell was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. He grad­u­ated from the City Col­lege of New York (CCNY) with a BS in geology.

At CCNY, he joined the Army ROTC pro­gram, dis­cov­ering his calling and launching his mil­i­tary career. Com­mis­sioned as an Army second lieu­tenant upon grad­u­a­tion, he served for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-​​star gen­eral. Powell has won numerous mil­i­tary awards and dec­o­ra­tions, including the Defense Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clus­ters), Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

He founded the Colin L. Powell Center for Lead­er­ship and Ser­vice at CCNY, ded­i­cated to devel­oping a new gen­er­a­tion of pub­licly engaged leaders.

Jacque­line A. Berrien – Doctor of Laws

For Jacque­line Berrien, leading the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­nity Com­mis­sion (EEOC) is the latest chapter in a career that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama char­ac­ter­ized as “fighting to give voice to under­rep­re­sented com­mu­ni­ties and pro­tect our most basic rights.”

The pres­i­dent nom­i­nated Ms. Berrien in July 2009 as chair of the EEOC, the agency charged with ending unlawful dis­crim­i­na­tion in the nation’s workplaces.

Ms. Berrien’s deter­mi­na­tion to keep faith with the civil-​​rights activists of the 1950s and 1960s — and their goal of moving the nation for­ward — has informed her work as a lawyer and leader.

Under her lead­er­ship, the EEOC has reduced its case­load of unre­solved dis­crim­i­na­tion charges for the first time in a decade—recovering mil­lions of dol­lars in relief for vic­tims of unlawful employ­ment discrimination—adopted reg­u­la­tions to imple­ment key antidis­crim­i­na­tion leg­is­la­tion, and launched a Small Busi­ness Task Force, among other achievements.

She also has served as asso­ciate director-​​counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Edu­ca­tional Fund, as a pro­gram officer with the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Jus­tice Pro­gram, and, for 15 years, as a prac­ticing civil-​​rights lawyer.

Ms. Berrien is a grad­uate of Har­vard Law School, where she served as a gen­eral editor of the Har­vard Civil Rights-​​Civil Lib­er­ties Law Review.

David S. Fer­riero – Doctor of Humane Letters

As the 10th Archivist of the United States, David S. Fer­riero over­sees the repos­i­tory of the nation’s her­itage, ranging from the orig­inal Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence and Con­sti­tu­tion to slave-​​ship man­i­fests and Indian treaties, as well as the con­tents of 13 pres­i­den­tial libraries.

Fer­riero, BA’72, MA’76, has built a dis­tin­guished career as a library director when Pres­i­dent Barack Obama appointed him to his cur­rent post in 2009. He is the first librarian to serve as national archivist and has brought the same phi­los­ophy of max­i­mizing public access to both positions.

Pre­vi­ously, Fer­riero served for five years as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries. He led the inte­gra­tion of the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seam­less ser­vice for users, cre­ating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world.

Among his notable achieve­ments was the devel­op­ment of the library’s dig­ital strategy, which cur­rently encom­passes part­ner­ships with Google and Microsoft; a web­site that reaches more than 25 mil­lion unique users annu­ally; and a dig­ital library of more than 750,000 images that may be accessed free of charge by any user around the world.

Before joining the New York Public Libraries in 2004, Fer­riero served in lead­er­ship posi­tions at two of the nation’s major aca­d­emic libraries, the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology and Duke Uni­ver­sity. He also served as a Navy hos­pital corpsman during the Vietnam War.

Kun­toro Mangkusub­roto – Doctor of Engineering

Kun­toro Mangkusub­roto, a min­ister and trusted senior advisor to Indone­sian Pres­i­dent Susilo Bam­bang Yud­hoyono, holds mul­tiple posts in the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment that are con­sid­ered vital to the nation’s devel­op­ment and sus­tain­ability goals.

As head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Devel­op­ment Mon­i­toring and Over­sight, Kun­toro, ME’77, iden­ti­fies obsta­cles to devel­op­ment pro­grams and leads the effort to resolve them. He also chairs the pres­i­den­tial task force assigned to addressing issues of defor­esta­tion and envi­ron­mental degradation.

Kun­toro brings a wealth of expe­ri­ence and edu­ca­tion to those chal­lenging posi­tions. From 2005 to 2009, he led a com­plex recon­struc­tion effort in Aceh-​​Nias, the region of Indonesia that was dev­as­tated by tsunamis, resulting in an esti­mated 200,000 deaths. He oversaw a recovery that cost nearly $8 bil­lion, while set­ting a stan­dard for post-​​disaster man­age­ment that few inter­na­tional observers thought possible.

As a pro­fessor at Ban­dung Insti­tute of Technology’s School of Busi­ness and Man­age­ment — a school he cofounded in 2003 — Kun­toro focuses on decision-​​making and strategic negotiation.

He held sig­nif­i­cant lead­er­ship roles in the Indone­sian energy and nat­ural resources sec­tors from 1989 to 2001, serving as Min­ister of Mining and Energy and CEO of three com­pa­nies: PLN, the state elec­tricity com­pany; PTBA, the state coal-​​mining com­pany; and Timah, the state tin-​​mining com­pany. His suc­cessful restruc­turing of Timah made it Indonesia’s first state-​​owned enter­prise to be pub­licly listed in the stock exchange.

Judith Rodin – Doctor of Humane Letters

As pres­i­dent of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, Judith Rodin has reshaped one of the world’s leading phil­an­thropic orga­ni­za­tions to meet the chal­lenges of the 21st century.

Today, under Rodin’s inspired lead­er­ship, the foun­da­tion advances inno­va­tions to strengthen resilience to risks and ensure more equi­table growth around the world.

Rodin has been a pio­neer and inno­vator throughout her career. Joining the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion in 2005, she was its first woman pres­i­dent. As pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­vania, she was the first woman to lead an Ivy League uni­ver­sity. And in the field of research psy­chology, she was a fore­runner in the behav­ioral med­i­cine and health psy­chology movements.

A widely rec­og­nized inter­na­tional leader in acad­emia, sci­ence and devel­op­ment issues, Rodin has par­tic­i­pated in influ­en­tial global forums, including the World Eco­nomic Forum, the Clinton Global Ini­tia­tive and the United Nations Gen­eral Assembly.

Sy Stern­berg – Doctor of Commerce

With a talent for inci­sive analysis and dynamic decision-​​making and a pas­sion for edu­ca­tion, Sy Stern­berg, ME’68, has made sig­nif­i­cant and lasting con­tri­bu­tions as both a busi­ness and uni­ver­sity leader.

During the 11 years he served as chairman of the board and chief exec­u­tive officer at New York Life, the com­pany became one of only three life insurers to earn top rat­ings for finan­cial strength from the four major rating agencies.

His lead­er­ship has been equally impres­sive at Northeastern.

As chair of North­eastern University’s Board of Trustees since 2008, he has part­nered with Pres­i­dent Joseph Aoun on every major ini­tia­tive related to the university’s trans­for­ma­tion: expanding expe­ri­en­tial learning glob­ally, focusing the research enter­prise on areas of strength and recruiting out­standing inter­dis­ci­pli­nary scholars.

To advance this goal, Stern­berg and his wife Laurie estab­lished the Stern­berg Family Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Endowed Chair and the Sy and Laurie Stern­berg Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Endowed Professorship.

He also led the board — in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the university’s senior lead­er­ship — in two major ini­tia­tives: the university’s Long Range Plan and its regional-​​campus expan­sion, which cre­ates a new model for higher edu­ca­tion that, in Pres­i­dent Aoun’s words, “goes beyond the tra­di­tional bound­aries of place.”