On 6 September, the Hertie School honoured this year’s graduates of the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) at the programme’s 11th graduation ceremony.
Twenty-eight students received their diplomas from the programme designed to train young executives for leadership roles in the public and private sectors and civil society. Students hailed from a variety of business, government or non-governmental organisations.
Hertie School Dean of Research and Faculty Mark Hallerberg opened the event and Dean of Graduate Programmes Christine Reh conferred the degrees.
The commencement speaker was Ana-Cristina Grohnert, who has served as Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Diversity Charter since 2013, of which the Hertie School recently became a member. Previously, Grohnert was Labor Relations Director and Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at Allianz Deutschland AG and member of the Board of Management of Allianz Versicherungs- und Allianz Lebensversicherungs-AG.
Grohnert urged graduates to be responsible leaders, saying: "As leaders you have to think inclusively, because this is the basic concept for responsible leadership."
Lisa-Maria Sommer and Jaylan ElShazly were this year’s student speakers. They spoke about what they had learned and how it inspired them for their future careers. They told students to ask questions, leave their comfort zones, embrace diversity, debate passionately, learn from each other and "break the cycle of inequality."