U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John F. Kerry will deliver North­eastern University’s Com­mence­ment address to this year’s grad­u­ating seniors on May 6, 2016, at TD Garden in Boston.

North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun unveiled the news Monday night on Twitter.

Kerry, who is the United States’ top diplomat, will speak to a global gath­ering of 25,000 grad­u­ates, family mem­bers, uni­ver­sity leaders, and friends from around the world during Northeastern’s 114th Com­mence­ment exercises.

John Kerry and North­eastern share a common bond: We are deeply rooted in Mass­a­chu­setts yet fully engaged with the global com­mu­nity,” said Aoun. “Through a life­long com­mit­ment to public ser­vice, Sec­re­tary Kerry has dis­tin­guished him­self as one of the truly con­se­quen­tial statesmen of his gen­er­a­tion. His impact on the world serves as a pow­erful example for our graduates.”

For five decades, Kerry has led a dis­tin­guished career in public ser­vice. He was sworn in as the 68th Sec­re­tary of State on Feb. 1, 2013, fol­lowing nearly 30 years of ser­vice in the U.S. Senate. Kerry was the first sit­ting Senate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mittee chair to become Sec­re­tary of State in more than a century.

Edu­ca­tion today is a global enter­prise, and we’re living in a time when jobs and oppor­tu­ni­ties take us all over the world”
—Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry

There have been a number of piv­otal for­eign policy mile­stones for the U.S. throughout Kerry’s tenure. During the past year alone, the U.S. re-​​established diplo­matic rela­tions with Cuba, announced a nuclear deal with Iran, helped to stem the tide of the Ebola out­break, estab­lished the his­toric free trade agree­ment known as the Trans-​​Pacific Part­ner­ship, and bro­kered the COP21 Cli­mate Change Agreement.

Kerry is Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s chief for­eign affairs advisor, and when he delivers his Com­mence­ment address at North­eastern, he’ll be speaking to a diverse audi­ence drawn from around the world. Today, nearly 20 per­cent of the university’s under­grad­uate stu­dent body comes from out­side the United States. North­eastern is also the world­wide leader in expe­ri­en­tial learning, with stu­dents learning and working in 131 coun­tries on all seven continents.

I am grateful that Pres­i­dent Aoun has invited me to address the grad­u­ating class at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, which is no longer con­fined to Hunt­ington Avenue but oper­ating a global campus,” said Kerry. “Edu­ca­tion today is a global enter­prise, and we’re living in a time when jobs and oppor­tu­ni­ties take us all over the world. I look for­ward to returning to Massachusetts—and my hometown—to address the senior class and other grad­u­ates on this impor­tant and very happy occasion.”

This year marks a wel­come return to Northeastern’s Com­mence­ment exer­cises for the Sec­re­tary, who deliv­ered the address to the university’s grad­uate stu­dents in 2000.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards his aircraft at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland, on Jan. 29, 2016. State Department photo/ Public Domain

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry boards his air­craft at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Mary­land, on Jan. 29, 2016. State Depart­ment photo/​Public Domain

Kerry’s public ser­vice began in 1966, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He went on to serve two tours of duty in Vietnam, during which he earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat “V” (valor), and three Purple Hearts.

After earning his law degree in 1976, Kerry went to work as a pros­e­cutor in the Mid­dlesex County Dis­trict Attorney’s office in Mass­a­chu­setts. He was elected lieu­tenant gov­ernor of Mass­a­chu­setts in 1982, and two years later, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he rep­re­sented the Com­mon­wealth for nearly three decades.

In 2009, Kerry became chair of the For­eign Rela­tions Com­mittee, and in 2010 he was instru­mental in the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the New Strategic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty, a vital nuclear arms reduc­tion agree­ment with Russia. As chair of the Senate Select Com­mittee on POW/​MIA Affairs, he worked to learn the truth about Amer­ican sol­diers missing in Vietnam and to nor­malize rela­tions with that country. Kerry also held senior posi­tions on the Finance, Com­merce, and Small Busi­ness com­mit­tees, as well as served as a member of the bipar­tisan Joint Com­mittee on Deficit Reduction.

Sec­re­tary Kerry has dis­tin­guished him­self as one of the truly con­se­quen­tial statesmen of his gen­er­a­tion”
—North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun

Kerry was born on Dec. 11, 1943, at Fitzsi­mons Army Hos­pital in Aurora, Col­orado. He grad­u­ated from Yale Uni­ver­sity in 1966 and received his law degree from Boston Col­lege Law School in 1976.

Kerry was the Demo­c­ratic Party’s nom­inee for pres­i­dent of the United States in 2004.

Northeastern’s past Com­mence­ment speakers include an illus­trious group of leaders and public fig­ures, including John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gor­bachev, Maya Angelou, Ken­neth Chenault, Colin Powell, and Janet Napolitano.

Next month, North­eastern will announce the Com­mence­ment speaker for the after­noon grad­uate cer­e­mony at Matthews Arena in Boston.