2016 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker: Liz Allen '06

Liz AllenLiz Allen serves as White House Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Assistant to the President, crafting communications strategy and executing public appearances for President Barack Obama. In this role, Liz coordinates events, trips, and interviews for the President and messaging for Administration policies and initiatives. Liz previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Message Planning in the White House communications office.

Liz returned to the White House in 2014 after serving as Director of Public Affairs for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State where she focused on the impact of people-to-people diplomacy and the importance of international education and exchange programs.

Prior to her time at the State Department, Liz worked for Vice President Joe Biden from 2009-2013 in his press office. She traveled throughout the United States and to more than 30 foreign countries and 5 continents with the Vice President and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, including to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Liz got her start in politics working on the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado as an Associate Director of Operations. Following the convention, she joined the Obama-Biden Presidential Campaign at the campaign’s Pennsylvania state headquarters in Philadelphia, and later worked on the President’s first Inaugural Committee.

Liz graduated from the State University of New York College at Geneseo Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Political Science and minor in Sociology. She began her career working at the State Department on human trafficking and border security issues.

While a student at Geneseo, Liz completed the Semester at Sea study abroad program, taking classes aboard the ship and visiting ten countries while circumnavigating the world. She also participated in the SUNY Washington Semester Internship Program, working at the State Department on international women’s issues in Washington, DC during her senior year.

Liz is a proud Buffalo native, devoted Buffalo Bills fan, and graduate of Williamsville South High School.

2016 Graduate Commencement Speaker: Brett Schrader '08

Brett SchraderBrett Schrader, CPA is a Partner at EFPR Group, LLP. Brett joined the firm in 2008. Most recently, Brett has performed as the service line leader in the for-profit company arena providing audit, review and consulting services to closely held businesses and portfolio companies of private equity sponsor firms.

Brett graduated from Geneseo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting (summa cum laude) and a Masters in Accounting in 2008. Prior to his work in public accounting Brett served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps specializing in supply and logistics.