image of Rich Lesser

Rich Lesser (BSE ’83), CEO of BCG, to give virtual commencement address to Michigan graduating seniors

Lesser recalls graduating during a recession when job prospects were bleak.

Watch live video of Rich Lesser’s address at 12:00 noon on May 2, 2020.

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image of Rich Lesser
Rich Lesser (BSE ’83), CEO of Boston Consulting Group

Rich Lesser (BSE 1983) will deliver a hopeful and inspiring message in this virtual graduation speech to the University of Michigan’s Class of 2020 . The highly accomplished CEO of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) draws on his experience of graduating in the midst of a recession, when job prospects were bleak, never imagining the remarkable inventions and progress ahead. “You’re facing a very different challenge from the one my generation faced in 1983. Today, the world is changing at warp speed. We see this in the pandemic that spread so quickly, but also the advance of technology, global connectivity and artificial intelligence to address climate change and other societal challenges.” Mr. Lesser encourages the graduates to embrace their futures through ongoing personal growth and persistence. He also reflects on the relevance of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s graduation speech of a year ago, to his son’s Class of 2019, when she expressed faith in the graduates’ ability to go anywhere, do anything and improve the world.


Rich Lesser, Chief Executive Officer
Boston Consulting Group

Rich Lesser is CEO of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and has served in this role since 2013. Under his leadership, BCG has continued its strong global growth across all regions and practices, fueled by investments in new offices, digital and analytics, and capabilities to drive innovation and transformation. Rich oversaw the launch of BCG Digital Ventures, a builder and accelerator of digital businesses; BCG Gamma, a cutting-edge advanced analytics, machine-learning and AI team; BCG TURN, a rapid performance acceleration unit; and more recently, the Center for Climate Action.

Rich is a member of several leading organizations, such as the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) International Business Council, WEF Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, the US Business Roundtable, and Helena. He has also accelerated BCG’s strong investments in social impact through its many partnerships, including the World Food Programme, Save the Children, and the World Wildlife Fund, along with many global health and environment initiatives. Previously, Rich served as BCG’s chairman for North and South America from 2009 to 2012 and as head of the New York Metro office system from 2000 to 2009. Since joining BCG in 1988, Rich’s client work has focused on strategy, operations, leadership, and large-scale transformation. Prior to joining BCG, Rich worked in product development at Procter & Gamble.

He received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a BSE in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan.

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