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Washington Post editor Martin Baron to deliver Harvard commencement address

Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, was photographed before the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta on Nov. 20, 2019.
Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, was photographed before the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta on Nov. 20, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Martin Baron, the renowned Washington Post executive editor who previously led the Boston Globe newsroom, will deliver Harvard’s commencement address in May, the university said Tuesday.

A statement posted to the Harvard Gazette, the school’s official publication, said Baron will be “the principal speaker at the Afternoon Program of Harvard’s 369th Commencement” on May 28.

University President Larry Bacow praised Baron, who oversaw the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal as well as the paper’s reporting on the 9/11 attacks. Baron has led the Post since 2013, winning a string of prizes there.

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"Marty Baron has led some of our nation’s most respected newspapers through a transformative time for American journalism,” Bacow said in the statement. “His distinguished career bespeaks a deep commitment to the pursuit of truth and to the vital role of a free press in a democratic society. We look forward to welcoming him here on Commencement Day.”

Bacow’s words were echoed by Alice Hill, president of the Harvard Alumni Association.

"For decades, Marty Baron has pursued truth and tirelessly championed the role of journalism in enabling healthy democracy and fact-based discourse and debate on critical issues around the world,” Hill said in the statement. “A bold and decisive leader in his field, Marty’s distinguished career has been marked by determination, integrity, and a willingness to listen to the powerless and too-often voiceless. He will both inspire and engage our graduating students, Harvard alumni, and our entire community.”

The statement said Baron, who also previously served as editor of the Miami Herald, has guided his various news staffs to 16 Pulitzer Prizes and received the 2019 Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Baron was portrayed by Hollywood star Liev Schreiber in the film “Spotlight,” the Oscar-winning movie about the Globe’s clergy sex abuse series.

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.