Mason alum and innovator Paul Misener is the Winter 2023 Commencement speaker


Paul E. Misener, a scientist, lawyer, engineer and innovator will be the featured speaker at Ƶ’s 2023 Winter Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in EagleBank Arena on the Fairfax Campus. Graduates may register for to the ceremony.

paul misener
Paul E. Misener. Photo provided

Misener is the founder and principal of Misener Innovation LLC, a consultancy dedicated to helping organizations innovate, advocate, and communicate.

He was a global vice president at Amazon.com for 23 years, most recently as vice president for global innovation policy and communications from May 2016 to February 2023, where he led  Amazon’s culture of innovation and represented Amazon to external organizations and internal colleagues worldwide.

He has testified before the U.S. Congress more than 30 times and frequently before other policymaking bodies around the world. Over the years, Paul has conducted business in 36 countries on six continents and has visited 24 nations.

Misener earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton, where he conducted senior research in the physics department. He earned his JD from Mason in 1993 and serves on the Mason President’s Innovation Advisory Council, as well as on the advisory boards of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation and the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.

In 2013, Paul chaired the technical subcommittee of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s advisory committee that recommended allowing commercial airline passengers to use portable electronics during taxi, takeoff, and landing.

He is an inventor named in three patents.

Formerly a partner in a large Washington, D.C., law firm, Misener previously served as senior legal advisor at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, and as Intel Corporation’s manager of telecommunications and computer technology policy. In the mid-1990s, he co-founded and led the computer industry’s Internet Access Coalition, and previously was assistant to the chairman of the Emmy Award-winning committee that established the technical standard for modern television and computer displays.