Education for Employment founder Bruder speaks at undergraduate commencement

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Ronald Bruder, who founded the Education for Employment (EFE) Network a decade ago to promote programs to reduce chronically high youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa, delivered the keynote address at Western’s 114th undergraduate commencement on May 13, 2012.

Named in 2011 as one of Time Magazine’s “100 most influential people in the world,” Bruder will offer his remarks to the WCSU Class of 2012 during the commencement ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Westside Athletic Complex on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

“Ronald Bruder’s story demonstrates that a single creative, committed individual can have an impact on even the world’s most intractable problems,” WCSU President James W. Schmotter observed. “I know his remarks will inspire our graduates.”

The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center left a searing impression on Bruder, founder of the Brookhill Group and a successful entrepreneur in diverse fields including real estate development, environmental remediation, medical technology, energy and travel. After waiting many agonizing hours that day to learn that his daughter Jessica, whose workplace was near the Twin Towers, was safe, Bruder embarked on a personal journey to develop locally designed and managed training programs targeted to meet critical vocational needs in the Middle East and North Africa.

Established in 2002, EFE is a network of semi-autonomous nonprofit affiliates in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine and Tunisia. These locally staffed and operated organizations receive capacity-building, partnership and development support from EFE offices in New York, Washington and Madrid.

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(l-r): WCSU President James W. Schmotter with Education for Employment Network Founder Ronald Bruder on Commencement Day.