“Angela Merkel is one of the most widely admired and broadly influential
states people of our time,” Harvard president Larry Bacow told The Harvard Gazette.
“Over her four terms as Germany's chancellor, her leadership has done much
to shape the course not only of her nation, but also of Europe and the larger world,” Bacow said.
“She continues to play a central role in confronting some of the great
challenges of our era, and I very much look forward to welcoming her to Harvard next May and to hearing what is sure to be a memorable address,” he said.
Merkel will be the principal speaker at Harvard's 368th commencement on May 30th, 2019.
Merkel, 64, has been in power since 2005 and is not expected to step down
until 2021. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close Merkel ally, won a tight race
on Friday to succeed her as party leader.
Previous Harvard commencement speakers include Kofi Annan, Oprah Winfrey, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and three former German chancellors – Helmut Kohl, Helmut Schmidt and Konrad Adenauer.