Chicago State University


Honorable Dot Harris Announced As 355th Commencement Speaker

Director HarrisContinuing it's tradition of featuring inspirational speakers who have led by example and who will challenge students to reach their full potential, Chicago State University announced that The Honorable LaDoris “Dot” Harris will serve as the Keynote Speaker for the 355th Commencement Ceremony to be held on December 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. in the Jones Convocation Center.
Harris currently serves as the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the U.S. Department of Energy. Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2012, Director Harris serves in an Assistant Secretary level position at the Department of Energy. She leads the agency’s offices of Minority Economic Impact, Minority Education and Community Development, Minority Business and Economic Development, Diversity and Inclusion, and Civil Rights.
Director Harris also leads the Department’s Minorities in Energy Initiative, serves on the White House Council on Women and Girls, oversees a corporate funding strategy for minority institutions, works closely to develop minority business contracting opportunities at the Department, and protects the civil rights of employees and recipients of multi-billion dollar funding from DOE. Additionally, Director Harris and her staff have participated in over 250 events across the country focused on promoting public participation in energy economic development, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and research and development programs. Through publications and community outreach, she has reached over 50 million people on the topic of diversity, economic development, and engagement in the STEM workforce.
Prior to her appointment, Director Harris was co-founder, President and CEO of Jabo Industries, LLC, a successful minority-woman owned management consulting firm concentrated primarily in the energy, information technology and healthcare industries. Director Harris’ leadership in Corporate America ranged from engineer to corporate officer. She served as an executive at General Electric Company (GE) and held a number of leadership positions in GE's Energy and Industrial Systems businesses. Before joining GE, Director Harris was the first African American female officer, Vice President of Operations & Production at ABB, Inc., the world’s largest electrical engineering firm.