Patricia Harris Keynotes SC State University's Spring Commencement

Friday, April 23, 2010

Patricia HarrisSC State University will award nearly 500 academic degrees during its Spring Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7 p.m. The commencement ceremony will be held in the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium on the campus of SC State.

The keynote address will be given by Patricia Harris, global chief diversity officer for McDonald’s Corporation, LLC. As Global Chief Diversity Officer,Harris is responsible forthe development and implementation of diversity strategies throughout McDonald’s Corporation, including 31,489 restaurants in 118 countries. She began her career with McDonald’s over 30 years ago as an administrative assistant in the Department of Corporate Legal. Harris was quickly promoted to several positions within the Human Resources Department leading to her current global leadership role.

Under her leadership, McDonald’s has been widely recognized for its commitment to inclusion and diversity. This recognition includes, Fortune Magazine’s “Top 50 Places for Minorities to Work,” Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 40 Companies for Diversity,” Latina Style Magazine’s “Best Companies for Latinas,” Asian Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 25 Companies for Asians,” and the Disability Diversity Award by Worklife Matters Magazine.

Harris is considered an expert in the field of diversity and holds several leadership positions in many national organizations. She is a founder and member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, founder and past chairperson of the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, and past president of the Board of Directors for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization). Harris continues her work with non-profit organizations through her work with the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.

Harris has been featured in several national and local publications including Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence Magazine, The Chicago Tribune Newspaper and Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine. She was named one of the “Top 10 Diversity Champions in the Country” by Working Mother Magazine and named Woman of the Year by the Roundtable for Women in Foodservice. She received the Roosevelt University Harold Washington Professional Achievement Award and the Eagle Award from the International Franchise Association. In 2007, Harris was featured in the South Carolina African American History Calendar.

Harris recently documented her experience within McDonald’s in her book, None of Us is As good As All of Us: How McDonald’s Prospers by Embracing Inclusion and Diversity.”

Pat received her bachelor’s degree in public administration and personnel administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill.

Harris resides in Chicago, Ill. and has one son, Dwayne, and a granddaughter, Cydnii.

For more information on SC State’s 2010 Spring Commencement, contact Erica S. Taylor, director of University Relations and Marketing, at (803) 533-3617 or