Stephen Cheung, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and double Bruin, will serve as keynote speaker at the 2023 UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony on June 23.
“We are pleased to honor Stephen Cheung with the 2023 UCLA Extension Professional Achievement Award and welcome him as keynote speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony,” said Eric Bullard, dean of UCLA Extension and Continuing Education. “As our graduates embark on new careers and opportunities, I am certain they will be motivated by his personal story, leadership, and steadfast commitment to diversity, educational opportunity, and financial equity.”
Cheung is the president and CEO of LAEDC, a non-profit organization, champions equitable economic growth across the Los Angeles region. There, he leads LAEDC’s team in its mission to reimagine the local economy to provide a healthy and high standard of living for all. He is also the president of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a position he has held since 2014.
“I am honored and humbled to speak to the UCLA Extension certificate graduates as they celebrate their accomplishments,” Cheung said. “As a Bruin myself, and an advocate for educational access, I know first-hand the transformative power of higher education.”
Cheung immigrated from Hong Kong when he was 8 years old. New to Los Angeles, and unable to speak English, he worked in a sweatshop with his mother in El Monte. This experience impacted Cheung’s career path, he wanted to help people and became a social worker. He is a first-generation college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology and master’s degree in social work from UCLA.
Before joining the LAEDC and World Trade Center Los Angeles, Cheung oversaw international trade for former Los Angeles mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and managed policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles World Airports, and International Affairs and Global Trade for the City of Los Angeles.
Approximately 600 UCLA Extension students will participate in the 2023 certificate graduation ceremony, which is scheduled to take place at Royce Hall, on the UCLA campus, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony is a ticketed event and will be broadcast live through UCLA Extension’s YouTube Channel. For more information, visit https://www.uclaextension.edu/graduation-and-alumni/certificate-graduation-ceremony.