GW Law 2022 Commencement Speaker Announced

Susan Ellis Wild
March 25, 2022

Congresswoman Susan Ellis Wild (D-PA), the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District and a graduate of GW Law’s Class of 1982, will deliver the keynote address at the Law School Diploma Ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Representative Wild, who was elected to Congress for the first time in November 2018, was a member of the largest class of freshman women (36) to enter the U.S. House of Representatives and is the first woman to go to Congress from her district in Pennsylvania. She also is the mother of recent GW Law grad Clay Wild, JD ’20.

A respected leader in Congress, Representative Wild serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Education and Labor Committee, the House Ethics Committee, and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. In addition to her committee work, she is a Vice Chair of the Labor Caucus and a Co-Chair of the Climate Change Taskforce in the New Democrat Coalition.

An advocate for expanding access to mental health care and suicide prevention initiatives, she has co-sponsored several impactful bills including the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which President Biden signed into law on Tuesday. The bipartisan legislation, which addresses the trauma of working on the frontlines of the pandemic, supports mental health resources and treatment for health care workers.

Earlier this month, she introduced a bipartisan bill to improve the quality of service provided by the IRS, the Better Service for Taxpayers Act. Last year, in the wake of the January 6th attacks, she co-sponsored the Capitol Remembrance Act, a bill to install a permanent memorial exhibit in the U.S. Capitol.

Congresswoman Wild is known for working across the aisle with both Democratic and Republican colleagues and was independently rated as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress by the Lugar Center. Seventy-seven percent of the bills she has introduced and cosponsored are bipartisan bills.

Prior to winning her U.S. Congressional seat, she served as the first female City Solicitor of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She previously worked as a litigator (specializing in civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution) for more than 35 years in Allentown, Pa, and became a partner at Gross McGinley in 1999. She represented health care practitioners and hospitals as well as municipalities and public officials in all forms of litigation matters.

Congresswoman Wild said her time in the classroom studying public interest law got her interested in politics, and her GW Law professors really sparked that interest. “It’s a natural progression from what I learned there to where I am now,” she said. “It’s all about bringing about positive change and working for others, which is really the role model that professors set in my classes at GW.”