Facebook VP and Marist Alum Returns to Campus

Some 25 years after graduating, Michael Buckley ’90, still appreciates the great teachers he encountered at Marist.

“I remember (Professor of Political Science) Dr. (Lou) Zuccarello’s 8 a.m. political science class,” Buckley, now the vice president of global business communications at Facebook recalled during a recent visit to campus, “and you better come prepared to that three times a week and be ready to go, and it was just deeply challenging and thought provoking.” Michael Buckley at Rich Leadership Institute

“I think I was really blessed and very lucky with so many of the professors I had,” Buckley said. He spoke during a conversation with Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Keith Strudler in the newly renovated production studios of the Lowell Thomas Communications Center.

While on campus, Buckley spoke with students from the schools of Communication & the Arts, Business, and Computer Science & Mathematics about his time at Marist, his work at Facebook, and the strong connections between the two. Later, he spoke to local business and civic leaders about the importance of big data and data analytics to Facebook and the broader business community during a presentation at the Raymond A. Rich Leadership Institute.

To see more of Dr. Keith Strudler’s conversation with Michael Buckley ’90, click here.

In his role at Facebook, Buckley oversees consumer, corporate, internal, international, monetization, and policy communications for the world’s largest social networking company. Prior to joining the tech giant, he held senior positions at Brunswick Group and Hill and Knowlton. He is also the co-founder of a natural foods company. A political science major, Marist Poll surveyor, and debate team member during his college days, Buckley talked about how his Marist experience prepared him for career and life success.

Michael Buckley in LT Theatre“Marist encouraged a really broad-based education and taught you as much about critical thinking skills as much as any particular discipline or any particular class,” Buckley said. Also key was the practical experience he gained working for the Marist Poll.

“What a great education into the political process, into the survey research process and social sciences,” Buckley said of his time working for Marist Institute of Public Opinion Director Lee Miringoff and poll Director Barbara Carvalho.

“I can very specifically draw a straight line between my exact experience at Marist and my job at Facebook,” Buckley said.

Beyond career success, Buckley considered the value of his time at Marist to a rich intellectual life. “There was a collaborative spirit here…grounded in ethics that probably has a lot to do with the Marist Brothers tradition that I think permeated the environment,” Buckley said, “and there was a definitive sense of right and wrong here and a willingness to challenge and discuss difficult subjects along ethical lines that I reflect on pretty frequently. I think back often to my time here.”

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