Christoph Ebell, counselor and head of the Office for Science, Technology and Higher Education at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C, will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s 2013 Graduate School Commencement ceremony to be held Friday, May 17.

The Graduate School Commencement ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Cassell Coliseum located on the Blacksburg campus. Approximately 1,000 Virginia Tech graduate students are expected to complete their degree requirements this spring and participate in the ceremony.

This event will be broadcast live via Web streaming from the university homepage.

“The interdependence of scientific research, education, and public policy on a global level has never been more important," said Karen DePauw, vice president and dean for graduate education. “Our graduates will greatly benefit from Christoph’s experiences and successes in fostering these relationships as they embark on careers that will undoubtedly become more global in nature. We are honored to have him speak at our commencement ceremony.”

Ebell has served as the science and technology counselor at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C., since 2009. In that position, he works to strengthen cooperation in science, technology and higher education between Switzerland and the United States and Canada and promotes the exchange of ideas with scientists and science policy-makers.

Prior to this position, Ebell worked at the Department of Economic Affairs in Bern, Switzerland, where he led the international cooperation section for innovation and market-oriented research and education. Projects were global and included innovation cooperation with Asian countries, with a focus on China and South-East Asia.

A specialist in innovation policy issues, he was delegate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Committee for Science and Technology Policy and a member of several expert working groups, including the expert panel on the OECD Innovation Strategy and the Economic Commission for Europe at the United Nations.

Ebell has considerable extensive experience with research and development-related European Union institutions and multilateral cooperation mechanisms both on a European and global level.

Before joining the government services, Ebell conducted research in American and Afro-American studies and culture in Switzerland and at Harvard University. He received a master’s degree from the University of Bern and from the University of Illinois at Chicago and he studied physics (with a special interest in particle physics), art history, and literature in Switzerland.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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