Author and professor Padma Desai will receive a Doctor of Laws degree. Desai is the Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and director of the Center for Transition Economics at Columbia University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was the U.S. Treasury's Advisor to the Russian Finance Ministry in the summer of 1995, and has published extensively in professional journals on issues of economic planning in the Soviet Union and economic reforms in Russia and the emerging market economies. This May, her book "From Financial Crisis to Global Recovery" will be published by Columbia University Press, and Penguin Books India will publish her memoir, "Breaking Out: An Indian Woman's American Journey," later this year. Desai frequently contributes to the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNN, BBC, "NewsHour" and the "Charlie Rose Show."
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Patrick Leahy will receive a Doctor of Laws degree. Leahy was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974 and remains the only Democrat elected to this office from Vermont. At 34, he was the youngest senator elected from the Green Mountain State. Born in Montpelier, he graduated from Saint Michael's College and received his law degree from Georgetown University. Following Sept. 11, Leahy led the Senate's negotiations on the 2001 anti-terrorism bill. He continues to be active on human rights issues and is consistently ranked highly by the nation's leading environmental organizations. In terms of Internet and technology issues, Leahy has crusaded for the protection of privacy rights, copyright protections and freedom of speech. He was a co-founder and remains a co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus. He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Agriculture and Appropriations Committees. After more than 36 years of service, he ranks second in seniority in the Senate. Leahy played a critical role in the recent release of Middlebury junior Tik Root, who was detained by Syrian authorities from March 18-31.