Henry E. Catto Jr., former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and a San Antonio native, will be the keynote speaker for St. Mary’s University’s spring commencement.

Commencement exercises will be held Saturday, May 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the Freeman Coliseum, 3201 East Houston St. The ambassador will address the topics of free speech, democracy and civility.

Ambassador Catto has enjoyed a distinguished career of public service, including positions as Director of the United States Information Agency, Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Chief of Protocol of the United States of America, Ambassador to El Salvador and Deputy Representative to the Organization of American States.

His private sector career includes positions as vice chairman and president of Broadcast Group at H&C Communications, operator of network television stations in Houston; Orlando-Daytona Beach, Fla.; Nashville; Tucson, Ariz.; Des Moines, Iowa; and San Antonio, and partner in the insurance brokerage firm Catto & Catto in San Antonio.

Catto is the chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States, a former member of the Smithsonian National Board, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and diplomat in residence at the University of Texas-San Antonio. He is the author of a memoir titled “Ambassadors at Sea: The High and Low Adventures of a Diplomat.”

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