FAA Leader Marion Blakey to Speak at Embry-Riddle

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will be the featured speaker at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's spring graduation ceremony for approximately 730 students Saturday, May 7. She will receive an honorary doctorate in aeronautical science.

The students will attend a common ceremony at 9 a.m. on Embry-Riddle's West Lawn and then separate for five smaller diploma ceremonies that start at 11 a.m. College of Aviation students will stay on the West Lawn. College of Arts and Sciences students will gather in the fleet hangar, College of Business students in the Miller Instructional Center auditorium, College of Engineering students in the ICI Center, and Extended Campus students at the Crotty Tennis Complex.

At the main ceremony, Dr. James Libbey, a professor of Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be awarded professor emeritus. Libbey is a specialist in U.S. history, with expertise in Russian/East European history. Of the five books he has written, four are on Russian/American relations. He joined Embry-Riddle in 1993 and since then has received seven appreciation awards from graduating seniors as well as the 2005 Outstanding Teacher Award.

Marion Blakey has been administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration since 2002. As the FAA's top executive, she is responsible for regulating and advancing the safety of the nation's airways as well as operating the world's largest air traffic control system.

Previously, Blakey was chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, where she managed a number of accident investigations. Among her many accomplishments, Blakey improved the Board's accident-reporting process and increased industry and regulatory responsiveness to NTSB safety recommendations. She also strengthened the Board's advocacy and outreach programs to promote safer travel in all modes of transportation. Under her leadership, the NTSB Academy emerged as a national and international resource in aviation safety and accident investigations.

In a former position as administrator of the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Blakey was the nation's leading highway safety official, charged with reducing the deaths, injuries, and economic losses caused by motor vehicle crashes.

She held other key positions at the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the White House.

Blakey earned a bachelor degree in International Studies with honors from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia. She also attended Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies for graduate work in Middle East affairs.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates more than 30,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Extended Campus at more than 130 centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, and through distance learning.