Univision President Henry Cisneros to Speak at Commencement
Henry Cisneros, president of Univision Communications and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be the featured speaker at Occidental College’s 118th commencement ceremony on Friday, May 19.
Cisneros will be presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the Remsen Bird Hillside Theater on the Occidental campus, located in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles.
Also receiving a honorary doctor of laws degree will be the Hon.William Hogoboom ’39, former presiding judge of Los Angeles County Superior Court and retired chief counsel and vice president of the University of Southern California.
Appointed president and chief operating officer of Univision in January 1997, Cisneros heads the dominant Spanish-language broadcast network in the United States. Univision reaches 92 percent of U.S. Hispanic households.
Prior to his appointment at Univision, Cisneros served for four years as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Appointed by President Bill Clinton in January 1993, Cisneros fought racial discrimination in public housing, helped to increase the national homeownership rate and federal assistance to the homeless, and designated the first group of empowerment zones to give tax breaks to businesses in depressed urban areas.
In 1981, he became the first Hispanic mayor of a major U.S. city when he was elected mayor of San Antonio, Texas, the nation’s tenth largest city. As a four-term mayor, serving from 1981 to 1989, Cisneros rebuilt the city’s economic base and created jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements.
Cisneros has served as president of the National League of Cities, chairman of the National Civic League, deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and as a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation. He received master’s degrees from Texas A&M (urban and regional planning) and Harvard University (public administration) and a doctorate in public administration from George Washington University.