Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be awarded an honorary degree at Duke University next month.
Lynch, who was born in Greensboro and grew up in Durham, will return to her hometown for commencement at Duke on May 7. She is one of seven honorary degree recipients, Duke announced Monday. The others are: Clayton Christensen, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School; George Church, a geneticist, molecular engineer and chemist; Deborah Lee James, former secretary of the Air Force; Stanley Nelson, documentarian; Marilynne Robinson, novelist and essayist, and Luis von Ahn, a computer scientist and entrepreneur.
Lynch served from 2015 to 2017 as the 83rd attorney general, the first African-American woman to serve in that role. She graduated from Durham High School, and her parents still live in Durham. Lynch, who will also speak at Duke Law School’s hooding ceremony during commencement weekend, previously served two separate stints as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. While in private practice, she performed extensive pro bono work for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
She was outspoken last year when the U.S. Justice Department sued North Carolina over HB2, the law that forbid local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and required people to use bathrooms that matched the gender on their birth certificates. Last week, a repeal compromise was reached on the controversial law.