BETHANY, W.Va. – Arthur B. Keys Jr., Bethany College graduate with the Class of 1967, will be the College's Baccalaureate speaker on May 5 at 8 p.m. in Commencement Hall. Keys is founder, president and chief executive officer of International Relief and Development (IRD), an Arlington, Va., based non-governmental organization committed to improving the living conditions and lives of the world's most vulnerable populations. Keys will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College.

As IRD president, Keys has been directly involved in management of an aggregate of approximately $322 million of development assistance with major grants from the United States Agency for International Development, United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of State, and private and faith-based donors. IRD has programs in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Ukraine, Serbia, Iraq, Jordan, Cameroon, Chad, Mozambique, and Montenegro under the sectors of relief, civil society, infrastructure, food security, economic development and health. IRD has 900 staff worldwide.

Most recently, IRD was present to relive human suffering in the wake of the tsunami in Indonesia and currently are providing relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

In his prior work as president of Keys and Associates, Inc. (KAI), Keys raised over $150 million in grants and in-kind contributions for NGOs in international development. He lived and worked in the former Yugoslavia under the auspices of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Urban-Rural Mission Program in the early 1980s. He speaks Serbo-Croatian and is the author of numerous articles dealing with public policy and the Balkans. His research work on refugees from the war in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina is included in the 1992 War and Humanitarian Assistance Project of Brown University.

Keys was recently honored by the Yale University Divinity School with its prestigious William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice.

He earned his B.A. from Bethany College and holds a Masters of Divinity from Yale University and a Doctor of Ministry from Emory University.