Commencement Speakers

The University of San Diego is proud to welcome our 2017 commencement speakers. Click on a speaker's name for a short biography.

School of Law | Saturday, May 20, 2017 | Mark Brnovich '91, JD, Arizona Attorney General

Graduate Programs | Saturday, May 27, 2017 | The Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of San Diego

College of Arts and Sciences | Sunday, May 28, 2017 | Peter Kiley '85, Vice President of Affiliate Relations, C-SPAN

Honorary Degree Recipient: Walter H. Munk, PhD

School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering | Sunday, May 28, 2017 | Chris Carr '86, Executive Vice President, Starbucks


Mark Brnovich

Mark Brnovich '91, JD

School of Law Commencement Speaker

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, is a distinguished member of USD School of Law’s Class of 1991. Brnovich was inaugurated as Arizona’s Attorney General in 2015.  He previously served as Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, and as the state’s Assistant Attorney General.  He has also been a Judge Pro Tem of Maricopa County Superior Court, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney, Command Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army National Guard, and Director of the Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute. While serving as an Assistant United States Attorney, Brnovich prosecuted public integrity crimes, as well as crimes occurring in Indian Country.

Recognized for restoring public confidence in the office of the Attorney General and for assembling some of the nation’s most talented public servants for his administration, Brnovich recently presented oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission case. The case focused on whether the AIRC violated the U.S. constitution when drawing legislative district lines in 2010.

Brnovich was born in the Detroit, Michigan area where he remained until his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when he was in grade school. After graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Brnovich enrolled in the USD School of Law. He then returned to Arizona to launch his career in public service.

Brnovich, his wife and two children live in the Phoenix area.


Bishop McElroy

The Most Reverend Robert McElroy

Graduate Programs Commencement Speaker

Bishop Robert W. McElroy is a native of San Francisco, California. After graduating from eighth grade at Our Lady of Angels School in Burlingame, California, Bishop McElroy felt called to the Catholic priesthood and entered Saint Joseph High School in Mountain View, the high school seminary of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Upon graduating from Saint Joseph, Bishop McElroy made the decision to pursue college at Harvard College where he studied American History. Upon graduation from Harvard, he enrolled at Stanford University and continued the study of American History earning a master’s degree.

Reentering the seminary in the Fall of 1976, Bishop McElroy attended Saint Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese on April 12, 1980. His first assignment was Saint Cecilia Parish in San Francisco, which was the parish where both of his parents were raised, educated, and later married.

Since his April 2015 installation as the sixth Bishop of San Diego, Bishop McElroy has spoken to multiple USD audiences on a variety of topics from immigration to civility in the national political dialogue. Bishop McElroy is the vice-president of the California Catholic Conference and serves at the national conference of bishops on the administrative committee, the ecumenical committee, the committee on domestic justice and the committee on international affairs.

Upon being appointed by Pope Francis as the sixth bishop of San Diego, Bishop McElroy said, "When I was growing up, my family would come to San Diego for summer vacation…Now, I have the privilege of becoming a member and a leader in this magnificent Catholic community and the society which surrounds it.”


Peter Kiley

Peter Kiley '85

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Speaker

Peter Kiley ’85, is the vice president of Affiliate Relations and Communications at C-SPAN, a position he has held since 2011. Mr. Kiley manages C-SPAN’s relationships with cable and satellite companies, and alternative television providers, as well as directing the network’s communications to media and the public, including across social media.

Kiley works with television providers to assure the broadest distribution of C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 to nearly 100 million U.S. households through targeted legal, financial, marketing, business development, digital and community/public relations strategies. C-SPAN recently added overall communications to Kiley's responsibilities, and he manages traditional public relations outreach targeting national and local media. A strong believer in the power of social media, he steers C-SPAN's strategies and content offerings across social platforms and works to expand its reach.

A native of Indiana, Kiley joined C-SPAN in 1986 shortly after graduating from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. In 2014, USD’s College of Arts and Sciences awarded Kiley the Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award, the highest honor conferred on an alumnus. In 2016, Kiley was named a Cable TV Pioneer, and Cablefax Magazine honored him as one of “Cable’s Top 100 Power Players.”

Kiley, his wife and three children live in Virginia where he is very involved in the local community. He serves as a youth sports coach, Eucharistic Minister and as an active fundraiser at his children’s schools.


Chris Carr

Chris Carr '86

School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering Commencement Speaker

Chris Carr is executive vice president, chief procurement officer for Starbucks. Mr. Carr is responsible for enhancing the enterprise-wide functional strategic sourcing supplier relationship capability, including the global sourcing processes, sourcing talent management program, and building a uniform approach toward suppliers across all categories of spend. He is also accountable for shaping Starbucks’ global supplier base into an integrated eco-system that is accretive to the company’s values and generates customer-insight driven innovation.

Previously, Carr served Starbucks as executive vice president, licensed stores U.S. & Americas where he was responsible for the strategic planning, annual operations, market planning and profitability for the region’s 6,200 licensed stores generating annual system-wide sales in excess of $3 billion. Carr has served in several senior executive retail operations positions for both Starbucks company-operated and licensed stores where he’s played a critical role on the Americas leadership team with developing and bringing the company’s transformation agenda to life. The turnaround of the company’s performance led to all-time highs in partner (employee) engagement, customer satisfaction and shareholder value.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Carr spent the majority of his career with ExxonMobil, developing, leading and implementing retail operational strategies for its Global Fuels Marketing downstream businesses.

Carr is a 1986 graduate of USD’s School of Business. In addition to serving on USD’s Emerging Leaders Council, he serves on many national boards including the board of trustees at Howard University and Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI).

Carr grew up in Los Angeles, California and now resides in Bellevue, Washington with his wife, their two teenage children, and Dallas, the family labradoodle.