Ms. Essye B. Miller, ’85.

TALLADEGA, AL – Senior Executive Service Member/Cybersecurity Expert Ms. Essye B. Miller will deliver the address at Talladega College’s 144th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 9 a.m.

According to a press release from the University, Ms. Miller is a career member of the Senior Executive Service, and currently serves as the Principal Deputy, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer ( DoD CIO). In this capacity, she assists the DoD CIO as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Deference for Information Management / Information Technology (IT) and Information Assurance, as well as non-intelligence space systems; critical satellite communications, navigation, and timing programs; spectrum; and telecommunications.

While serving as the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) for Cybersecurity and the Department’s Senior Information Security Officer (SISO), Ms. Miller was appointed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense as the Acting Defense Chief Information Officer (December 8, 2017 – May 6, 2018). As the DCIO for Cybersecurity, Ms. Miller was responsible for ensuring that the DoD CIO has a well-defined and executed cybersecurity program, and coordinating cybersecurity standards, policies, and procedures with other federal agencies, coalition partners, and industry.

Ms. Miller began her career as an Information Technology Specialist at Gunter Air Force Base after graduating from Talladega College in 1985. She went on to serve in various leadership positions throughout the Air Force, including with the following units or offices: Air Force Communication and Information Center; Air Force Office of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Office at the Pentagon; Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base; the 75th Communications and Information Directorate; and Deputy CIO at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, UT.

Ms. Miller earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Talladega College, a Master of Business Administration Degree from Troy State University and a Master of Strategic Studies from Air University in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a 2016 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in National and International Security Studies. Additionally, Ms. Miller is Acquisition Level III certified in Information Technology.

Ms. Miller was awarded the Presidential Rank Award as a meritorious recipient in 2018. This award is given to members of the Senior Executive Service for exceptional service over an extended period of time.

Ms. Miller was initiated into the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in 1982. She is a Diamond Life member, active with the Fairfax County Alumnae Chapter in Northern Virginia.

About Talladega College

The oldest private Historically Black College in Alabama, Talladega College was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant. Talladege College is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from the New York Times during the three-year, eight-city tour. Visit www.talladega.edu, for more information.

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Bakari Sellers

Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Commentator, and the youngest African American elected official in the country, will deliver the Commencement Address at Paine College on May 5th, and Lincoln University on May 11th. The event will begin for Paine College at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday Morning in the HEAL Complex located at 1255 Druid Park Avenue, Augusta, Georgia. The event will begin for Lincoln University at 10 a.m. at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. Paine College and Lincoln University commencement ceremonies are both open to the public.

Elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at the age of 22, Sellers defeated a 26-year-incumbent and was the youngest member of the state legislature. In 2014, he won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor of South Carolina, and is considered a rising star and a voice for a generation within the party. Sellers earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina. A practicing attorney, Sellers has been a contributor to CNN, was listed in TIME magazine’s “40 under 40” in 2010, and was on “The Root 100” list of 2014 recognizing the most influential African Americans in the nation.

“We are pleased that Bakari Sellers will address the 2019 graduating class,” said Jerry L. Hardee, President of Paine College. “Bakari Sellers has emerged as the ‘voice’ for his generation. We are certain that his message will inspire our graduating seniors as they embark upon their career paths and lives.”

During Paine’s Commencement weekend of activities, Alumni will celebrate classes ending in 4s and 9s. Of special note, the Golden Class of 1969 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. This year, the College will dedicate the Commencement Convocation to the Paine high School graduates. The Class of 1944 is the last class to have graduate under the Paine High School.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to Robert and Charlene Mitchell Auditorium in Richardson Fine Arts Center at Lincoln University. Livestreaming will be available from anywhere at www.lincolnu.edu/live-stream.