Kenneth R. Feinberg, best known for serving as the special master of the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and who later became fund administrator for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the April 16, 2007, tragedy, will address Virginia Tech’s Class of 2011 during University Commencement exercises to be held on Friday, May 13, at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.
The University Commencement ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. More than 5,000 graduates and their family and friends are expected to attend the event.
“Mr. Feinberg has worked tirelessly to resolve some of the most complicated and challenging mediation cases our nation has ever seen,” noted Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. “His assistance to our community in 2007 is just one of many instances in which he sought a just and fair resolution to an extremely difficult and complex issue. His unique experience and commitment to serve others will no doubt inspire our graduates.”
Feinberg is currently administering the $20 billion fund for claims following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2009, he was appointed by the U.S. Treasury Department to oversee the compensation of executives at companies that received federal bailout assistance.
As the special master of the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, Feinberg contacted those qualified to file a claim, evaluated applications, determined appropriate compensation, and distributed the awards. His 2005 book, What Is Life Worth?, chronicled this experience.
Feinberg founded Feinberg Rozen LLP in 1992. He has resolved thousands of disputes involving a wide range of interests and clients. In the commercial sector, he designed, implemented, and administered an Alternative Dispute Resolution settlement program involving Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Zurich N.A. Insurance Company, Hurricane Katrina, and other Gulf hurricane claimants. He also has served as distribution agent for AIG Fair Fund claimants, and has been the fund administrator for a variety of claimant funds totaling more than $1 billion.
In his capacity as an arbitrator, Feinberg helped determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination, and legal fees in Holocaust slave labor litigation.
Feinberg has been appointed to two presidential-level commissions, and is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Virginia.
In 2004, he was named Lawyer of the Year by the National Law Journal in 2004, and has been named repeatedly as one of The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
- Audio: Kenneth Feinberg's 2011 University Commencement speech
- University Commencement Speakers (1873 to 2010)