Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and a bestselling author of three books on leadership and resilience, will deliver the address at MIT’s 2018 Commencement exercises on Friday, June 8.
As COO, Sandberg oversees Facebook’s business operations. Before joining Facebook, she was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google; chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton; a management consultant with McKinsey and Company; and an economist with the World Bank.
“As a business leader, Sheryl Sandberg has helped to shape some of society's most successful companies,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. “She also cares deeply about making a more equal and resilient world. She is an exceptional role model whose charge to our graduates will inspire the Class of 2018 and all of MIT.”
Sandberg is the co-author of “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy,” with Professor Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, published earlier this year. She is also the author of the bestsellers “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” (2013) and “Lean In for Graduates” (2014).
Sandberg is also the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. She serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.
Sandberg earned a BA from Harvard University in 1991 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1995.
“Sheryl Sandberg’s continuous leadership in tech and commitment to women’s empowerment are truly remarkable,” says Colin Webb, president of MIT’s Class of 2018. “She creates a world of opportunities for others — a practice aligned with MIT’s vision and inventive nature. We are honored to have her as our Commencement speaker.”
“We are thrilled that Sheryl Sandberg was selected as the Commencement speaker,” says Graduate Student Council President Sarah Ann Goodman. “The MIT community will benefit immensely from the insights of this trailblazing and resilient woman in the tech industry.”
Sandberg joins a list of notable recent MIT Commencement speakers, including Apple CEO Tim Cook (2017); actor and filmmaker Matt Damon (2016); U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith ’86 SM ’88 (2015); DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman (2014); and Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston ’05 (2013).
“I am delighted with the selection of Sheryl Sandberg as our next Commencement speaker,” says Chancellor for Academic Advancement Eric Grimson, the longstanding chair of MIT’s Commencement Committee. “She is a wonderful role model for our graduates — in how to balance personal life with professional life, in how to guide a company whose technology is potentially disruptive to address societal needs, and in how to envision the future impact of technological innovations. I am sure her remarks will be an inspiration to our students.”