Commencement Speakers

Fall 2022 | Afua Bruce

Afua Bruce

Afua Bruce is a leading public interest technologist who has spent her career working at the intersection of technology, policy, and society. Her work has spanned the government, non-profit, private, and academic sectors. With Afua’s background in software engineering, data science, and artificial intelligence, combined with experience developing and deploying technology in and with communities, she incorporates an equity-based framework into her engagements.

 Afua is currently the principal of the ANB Advisory Group LLC, a consulting firm that supports organizations developing, implementing, or funding responsible data and technology. The ANB Advisory Group works with philanthropic institutions, tech companies, and non-profits to change how technology is developed and used.

 Previously, as the Chief Program Officer at DataKind, Afua led programmatic decisions and the 20,000-person volunteer community to provide data science and AI expertise to non-profits and government agencies worldwide. As the Executive Director of the White House’s National Science and Technology Council, Afua oversaw more than 100 working groups of expert Federal scientists and engineers to develop policies for cybersecurity, STEM education, natural resources, forensics, and more. She has also held a number of senior science technology positions including those with New America, the FBI, and IMB.

 Afua is an adjunct professor of the Heinz College of Information Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, a Visiting Practitioner for Cornell Tech's Public Interest Tech (PI-Tech) program, an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and an affiliate of the Tayarisha is The African Centre of Excellence for Digital Governance at the University of Witwatersrand-Johannesburg.

 As an If/Then Ambassador, Afua engages in efforts to excite girls to consider STEM careers. She has partnered with GoldieBlox, appeared on CBS's Mission Unstoppable TV show, and is featured in a number of museums around the country.

 Afua has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Her newest book, The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Technologists, and Philanthropists can Build an Equitable World, describes how technology can advance equity.

Past Commencement Speakers

  • 2022 (Spring) Mr. Abdul Subhani, President/CEO of Centex Technologies

  • 2021 (Fall) Mr. Pete Winstead, founding shareholder of Winstead PC, & Mrs. Tomi Winstead, founding member of KLRU’s Producer’s Circle

  • 2021 (Spring) Edward Escudero, President/CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC, and Margarita “Margie” Escudero, critical care-certified registered nurse and El Paso Community Supporter

  • 2020 (Fall) Sen. Kirk P. Watson, Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs

  • 2020 (Spring) Reverend George V. Clark, pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church

  • 2019 (Fall) Massey Villarreal, CEO and President of Precision Task Group, Inc. (PTG)

  • 2019 (Spring): Dr. Philip Uri Treisman, Distinguished Teaching Professor, The University of Texas at Austin; Founder and Executive Director of UT Austin's Charles A. Dana Center

  • 2018 (Fall): Dr. Thomas M. Hatfield, first President/CEO of the Austin Community College District

  • 2018 (Spring) Dr. Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College

  • 2017 (Fall) Roy Spence, Co-founder and Chairman, GSD&M and Co-founder/CEO, The Purpose Institute

  • 2017 (Spring) Dr. Byron McClenney, former community college CEO. and Dr. Kay McClenney, founding partner of Achieving the Dream

  • 2016 (Fall) Gus Garcia, Former Austin Mayor, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Marina Garcia, Educator and Community Volunteer

  • 2016 (Spring) Art Acevedo, Austin Chief of Police 

  • 2015 (Fall) Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D., President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools

  • 2015 (Spring) Dr. Walter Bumphus, president/CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, and Dr. Aileen Bumphus, executive director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence Gateway Scholars Program

  • 2014 (Fall) Victor Hwang, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Summit

  • 2014 (Spring) Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director & Chief Executive of National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • 2013 (Fall) Ben Barnes, Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas

  • 2013 (Spring) Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman

  • 2012 (Fall) Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees, and Dr. Exalton Delco, Former ACC Vice-President, Academic Affairs

  • 2012 (Spring) Dr. John Roueche, UT-Austin Community College Leadership Program, and Dr. Suanne Roueche, Editor, NISOD Publications, Senior Lecturer, College of Education, UT-Austin

  • 2011 Kirk Watson, Texas State Senator

  • 2010 Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools

  • 2009 Wilhelmina Delco, Former Texas State Representative, founding member, ACC Board of Trustees

  • 2008 Donna Howard, Texas State Representative

  • 2007 Mark Strama, Texas State Representative

  • 2006 Richard Oppel, Editor, Austin American Statesman

  • 2005 Toby Hammett Futrell, City Manager, City of Austin

  • 2004 Gustavo Garcia Austin Mayor

  • 2003 Reynaldo Garcia, Executive Director, Texas Association of Community Colleges

  • 2002 Della May Moore, Outgoing Board of Trustees member

  • 2001 Carole Keeton Rylander, State Comptroller

  • 2000 Will Davis, Founding Member, ACC Board of Trustees

  • 1999 Kirk P. Watson, Mayor, City of Austin

  • 1998 Congressman Lloyd Doggett, U.S. House of Representatives, District 10

  • 1997 Dr. Richard Fonte, President, ACC

  • 1996 Barry Waite, Senior Vice-President Motorola

  • 1995 Dr. Donald G. Phelps, W.K. Kellogg Regents Professor, UT

  • 1994 Dr. Bill Segura, President, ACC

  • 1993 Dr. Charles A. Green, Chancellor, Houston Community College System

  • 1992 Dr. Manuel J. Justiz, A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership, UT

  • 1991 Rod A. Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa

  • 1990 Lawrence Williford, Sr. VP Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company

  • 1989 Hon. Parker McCollough, Texas House of Representatives

  • 1988 Larry Jenkins, VP, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

  • 1987 Dr. William H. Pickens, Executive Director, California Postsecondary Higher Education Commission

  • 1986 Gonzalo Barrientos, State Senator, District 14

  • 1985 Dr. Dan Angell, President, ACC

  • 1984 Dr. Lorrin Kennamer, Dean, College of Education, UT

  • 1983 Raymond Bynum, Commissioner, Texas Education Agency

  • 1982 J. J. Pickle, Congressman, 10th Congressional District

  • 1981 Br. Stephen Wlash, President, St. Edward’s University

  • 1980 Dr. Kenneth Ashworth, Commissioner THECB

  • 1979 Wilhelmina Delco, State Representative District 37-D

  • 1978 Carole McClellan, Mayor, City of Austin

  • 1977 Lloyd Doggett, Member, Texas Senate

  • 1976 Jimmy Snell, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of Austin

  • 1975 Gonzalo Barrientos, Texas House of Representatives

  • 1974 C.C. Colvert, Professor Emeritus, Community College Education, UT