Renowned Urbanist Richard Florida and Global Political Risk Executive Ian Bremmer to Speak at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies Convocation Ceremonies

More Than 1,300 Degree Candidates to Graduate on May 20 at the Grand Hyatt New York

NEW YORK, May 14, 2013 – Richard Florida, one of the world’s leading authorities on economic competitiveness, cultural and technological innovation, and demographic trends, is this year’s New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) undergraduate Convocation speaker. Florida, who was appointed Global Research Professor for NYU-SCPS in July 2012, will address the graduating class of the Paul McGhee Division and the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management.

Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm, is the speaker at this year’s NYU-SCPS graduate Convocation. Bremmer created Wall Street’s first global political risk index and appears regularly on CNBC, Fox News Channel, NPR, and other networks.

In addition to the keynote speakers, three graduating students will speak. Cynthia R. Heiple, who will receive a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management from the NYU-SCPS Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management, will address the undergraduate class. While earning her degree, Heiple benefitted from internships at The Ritz-Carlton, the Waldorf=Astoria New York, and Morgans Hotel Group. Upon graduation, she will join the Expedia worldwide team.

Richard T. Barga, who will receive his M.S. in Real Estate Development from the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, will address the graduate class. He has lead volunteer efforts by Schack students to aid New York City residents affected by Superstorm Sandy, organizing more than 50 volunteers to perform cleanup work in Coney Island and the Rockaways. In his final semester this spring, Barga took part in a student trip to New Orleans that was coordinated by Professor Cori Packard, who teaches Post-Catastrophe Reconstruction. There, he conducted a research project on post-Hurricane Katrina property valuation and applied what he learned to post-Sandy New York City.

Ashley B. Almskog, who will receive her M.S. in Global Affairs from the NYU-SCPS Center for Global Affairs, will also address the graduate class. She is expected to graduate summa cum laude, having earned a near-perfect grade point average. Almskog traveled to India for her Capstone thesis, titled “China and India’s Thirst for Power: Meeting the Electricity Demand Amidst Water Insecurity.”

The 2013 NYU-SCPS Convocation ceremonies will take place on Monday, May 20 at the Grand Hyatt New York. A total of 1,322 students will be awarded degrees or certificates, including 973 master’s degrees, 79 graduate certificates, 255 bachelor’s degrees, and 15 associate’s degrees.

Photo Credit: The Creative Class

About Richard Florida
Best known for his groundbreaking concept of the creative class and its impact on urban regeneration, Richard Florida is a regular contributor for CNN and is the senior editor for The Atlantic, where he helped to create The Atlantic Cities. He also has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, the Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail, and the Harvard Business Review. In addition, he has been a featured expert on BBC, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR. His best-selling books, The Rise of the Creative Class, The Flight of the Creative Class, Who’s Your City, The Breakthrough Illusion, Beyond Mass Production, and The Great Reset, have been read by millions around the globe.

One of the most sought-after public speakers in the world, his thought-provoking lectures focus on creative, global approaches to problem-solving and strategy development, Florida also serves as the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He is founder of the Creative Class Group, a boutique advisory services firm composed of leading researchers, communication specialists, and business advisors. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College. He was born in Newark, N.J. and currently lives in Toronto.

Photo Credit: Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg

About Ian Bremmer
In 1998, Ian Bremmer founded Eurasia Group with just $25,000. Today, the company has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and London, as well as a network of experts and resources around the world. Eurasia Group provides financial, corporate, and government clients with information and insight on how political developments move markets.

Bremmer has authored several books, including the national bestsellers, Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World and The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? Bremmer is a contributor for the Financial Times A-List and, and writes The Call blog on He also has published articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, and Foreign Affairs.

Bremmer earned a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University (1994) and was the youngest-ever national fellow at the Hoover Institution. He presently teaches at Columbia University and has held faculty positions at the EastWest Institute and the World Policy Institute. In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. His analysis focuses on global macro political trends and emerging markets, which he defines as “those countries where politics matter at least as much as economics for market outcomes.”

Bremmer grew up in Boston and now lives in New York and Washington.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies

Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies ( is one of NYU's several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School's diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Health; Arts, Design, and Film; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Entrepreneurship; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages and Humanities; Management and Systems; Marketing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Sports Management, Media, and Business; Translation; and Writing.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates over 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by nearly 28,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses and Diploma Programs. The School's community is enriched by more than 31,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit