Former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott will give the commencement address as Kingsborough Community College celebrates its 50th Commencement Exercises Tuesday, June 16 in Brooklyn.
A new appointee to the board of the CUNY School of Public Health and a current board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Walcott served as chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2011 through 2013. Most recently, he was an honorary distinguished fellow at the University of the West Indies. Walcott traces his heritage to Barbados and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
As chancellor, Walcott led transformational change across a system of more than 1,800 schools with more than 1 million students and 136,000 employees, and a $24 billion budget. Building on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Children First” reforms, he prioritized cultivating teacher talent; expanding school choices; creating strong partnerships with parents; and preparing students to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.
Before his appointment as chancellor, Walcott served as Bloomberg’s deputy mayor for education and community development for eight years, overseeing and coordinating the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education.
Walcott, a Queens resident, maintained his supervisory role at the Department of Youth and Community Development during his tenure as chancellor, and also reviewed the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority, City University of New York and the City University Construction Fund. He was responsible for collaborating with community-based organizations citywide and coordinating policies concerning youth programs and adult education.
Kingsborough Community College serves approximately 14,000 full- and part-time students a year in credit and non-credit bearing courses in liberal arts and career education. As one of the City University of New York’s seven community colleges, Kingsborough offers associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into professional careers.