ATHENS, Ga. -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will deliver the commencement address for The University of Georgia undergraduates on May 9.
"Sen. Isakson is a great public servant and a statesman, and he has been a strong advocate for the value of public education, from kindergarten through college and beyond," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, in a statement, "As an alumnus, he has brought honor and recognition to his alma mater. I am very grateful to him for agreeing to speak to the Class of 2014."
Isakson served 17 years in the Georgia General Assembly in both the House of Representatives and Senate and as chairman of the Georgia Board of Education. He was elected in 1999 to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first of three terms and in 2004 to the U.S. Senate. He is currently in his second term as a U.S. senator.
In January 2013, Isakson was named to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Medicare and Social Security and plays a critical role in the debate over reduction in national spending and debt. He is also assigned to the committees on health, education, labor and pensions; veterans' affairs; and ethics.
A highlight of his legislative accomplishments came in 2009 when the Senate passed his legislation to create the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Styled after the 9-11 Commission, the panel was charged with investigating the near collapse of the U.S. banking system and the loss of tens of trillions of dollars.
A 1966 graduate of UGA, Isakson began his business career a year later when he opened the first Cobb County office of the small, family-owned business Northside Realty. He later was the organization's president and, during his 20 years at its helm, helped grow Northside into the largest independent residential real estate brokerage company in the Southeast.
Isakson also served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972.