For Immediate Release

April 10, 2009

New York, NY – Diana Aviv, President and CEO of Independent Sector, will address graduates of the Columbia University School of Social Work (SSW) at their commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 20, 2009.  The ceremony will be held in Beacon Theater at 2:30pm.

“We are honored to have Ms. Aviv, a distinguished alumna, as our commencement speaker for this year’s ceremony,” said Dean Jeanette Takamura. Diana Aviv is a prominent national leader whose perspectives are sought by influential persons in the public and private sectors alike.”

A noted expert on the major issues affecting the national nonprofit community, Ms. Aviv is a frequent speaker on emerging trends within the sector, the financial state of the nonprofit community, public policies affecting charities and foundations, the role of civil society in democracy, and civic engagement.  She has testified before Congress and has been featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and MSNBC.com. Ms. Aviv also served as executive director of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which issued the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations in October 2007.  More than 80,000 copies of the principles have been distributed to members of the nonprofit community.

Prior to her current position at Independent Sector, Ms. Aviv worked as United Jewish Communities’ vice president for public policy and director in its Washington Action Office. She focused on federal legislation and regulations, specifically concerning policies that affect health and human service organizations.  She also served as associate executive vice chair at the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, director of programs for the National Council of Jewish Women, and director of a comprehensive program to serve battered women and their families.  She has had a private psychotherapy practice in New York and New Jersey and has served as an expert witness in capital cases in New Jersey.

She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Partnership for Public Service, and of the Board of Directors of GuideStar.  A native of South Africa, Ms. Aviv graduated with a B.S.W. from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and received a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University.

The SSW commencement ceremony will be held at 2:30pm in Beacon Theater.  The Columbia University commencement exercises will be held from 10:30am to 12:00pm in front of Low Memorial Library on Wednesday, May 20, 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.commencement.columbia.edu or contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or jy2223@columbia.edu.

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