Former Senator Portman to Speak at Rio Grande's 147th Commencement Ceremony

Former Ohio Senator Rob Portman will be the keynote speaker at Rio’s 147th Commencement Ceremony. With over three decades in public service, Portman has served in three presidential administrations as well as two terms in the United States Senate and six terms in the United States House of Representatives. 

Pictured is former Ohio Senator Rob Portman

In the George W. Bush administration, he served in two cabinet-level jobs, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget as well as United States Trade Representative. Under President George H.W. Bush, he served as Associate Counsel to the President and Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

“We are looking forward to welcoming my friend, former US Senator Rob Portman to our campus,” said Rio Grande President Ryan Smith. “His dedication to public service, vast knowledge, and years of leadership at the highest of levels, will inspire our graduates as they begin their next journey.”

Known for his civility, successful bipartisan policymaking, work ethic, and grasp of a broad range of complex issues, over 220 of Portman’s bills were signed into law by Presidents Biden, Trump and Obama during his tenure in the Senate. He served as the lead Republican negotiator on the bipartisan infrastructure law that is making historic improvements to our nation’s roads, ports, rails, bridges, broadband and more.

He played a key role in U.S. foreign policy through his seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as co-chair and founder of the Senate Ukraine Caucus. He made ten trips to Ukraine since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 and is a key advocate for congressional support of Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression.

Portman was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he still lives today with his wife, Jane. Together they have three adult children: Jed, Will, and Sally.

The Commencement Ceremony will take place Saturday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m. with 342 students set to graduate.