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David E. McCraw, a 1976 journalism graduate from Monticello, Illinois, will be the 2017 College of Media convocation speaker.

McCraw is vice president and deputy general counsel for The New York Times. He has a master’s degree from Cornell and a JD from Albany Law School.

McCraw has worked as a journalist and a free-lance writer, has taught journalism and worked as a lawyer at a New York law firm. He has been with The Times since 2002 and is also an adjunct professor at NYU Law School.

His work at The Times includes Freedom of Information Act requests, overseeing commercial litigation, and advising journalists on issues in news gathering including privacy laws. He also runs crisis response when a journalist runs into issue while reporting internationally.

McCraw gained national attention in Oct. 2016 when a brief letter he wrote to Donald Trump’s attorney in defense of a free press went viral.