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Plenary speakers

Special Presentation by WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL BOB FERGUSON

Bob Ferguson is Washington's 18th Attorney General. As the state's chief legal officer, he directs 500 attorneys and 600 professional staff providing legal services to state agencies, Governor and Legislature.

General Ferguson’s ongoing priorities are:

  • Protecting consumers and seniors against fraud by cracking down on powerful interests that don’t play by the rules;
  • Keeping communities safer by supporting law enforcement;
  • Protecting our environment; and
  • Standing up for our veterans by advocating for service men and women and their families.

Bob received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1995. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington, where he was student body president. MORE

Jorge Cham

Jorge Cham

Creator of Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), the popular comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in Academia. He is also the co-founder of PHD TV, a video science and discovery outreach collaborative, and a founding board member of Endeavor College Prep, a non-profit school for kids from disadvantaged communities in East Los Angeles. MORE

Suzanne Ortega, Ph.D.

Suzanne Ortega, Ph.D.

Suzanne Ortega, Ph.D., is the President of Council Of Graduate Schools. Dr. Ortega as held a number of Administrative posts at universities across the United States. She has served on the Executive Board of the NASULGC Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education and was Chair of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools and Council of Graduate Schools' Boards. Dr. Ortega chairs the GRE Board, serves as a member of the National Academies of Science Committee on the Assessment of the Research Doctorate, and is a member of the National Science Foundation’s Human Resources Expert Panel. She serves on a number of review panels for NSF and NIH. Her work to secure funding for and develop successful Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Degree, Preparing Future Faculty, Ph.D. Completion, and Diversity Enhancement programs, including the CGS/Peterson’s Award for Innovations in Promoting an Inclusive Graduate Community are among her most important administrative accomplishments.