The ceremony, which marks the close of the college's 186th academic year, will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Quadrangle in front of the Burke Library. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
"Dr. Mathews' career represents the highest ideals of citizenship and service that we seek to foster among our students," said Hamilton President Eugene M. Tobin. "Her message will be timely as our students seek to apply the knowledge and commitment they have acquired here in service to their professions, their communities and their world."
Mathews' career includes posts in the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the non-profit field and in journalism.
A 1967 magna cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College, Mathews received her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology in 1973. She subsequently moved to Washington where she began a career in public service as a congressional science fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She continued in Congress as a professional staff member of the House Interior Committee, and in 1975-76 served as national issues director for Congressmen Morris Udall's presidential campaign.
From 1977 to 1979, Mathews was director of the Office of Global Issues on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. Her responsibilities included nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales policy, chemical and biological warfare and human rights. She spent the next three years as a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post, covering energy, the environment, science, technology, arms control, health and other issues.
For the next 11 years, beginning in 1982, Mathews was director of research and then vice president for the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on domestic and international environmental and natural resource management issues. She returned to government service for a year in 1993 as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs and then served from 1993 to 1997 as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, researching the role of non-state actors in international relations and later serving as acting director of the Council's Washington program.
Mathews co-edited The Earth as Transformed by Human Action: Global and Regional Changes in the Biosphere Over the Past 300 Years and co-authored and edited Preserving the Global Environment: The Challenge of Shared Leadership. In addition to The Washington Post, she has written for The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and other scientific and foreign policy journals.
A New York City native, Mathews is currently a trustee of the Brookings Institution, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a national coalition of groups working on domestic transportation issues, of which she is a co-founder. She previously served on the boards of Radcliffe College, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Joyce Foundation, among others, and is currently a member of the Environmental Advisory Committee of Air Products Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
In addition to speaking, Mathews will be presented for an honorary degree. Approximately 415 students will receive bachelor's degrees at the ceremony.