Eric Holder, Brandon Victor Dixon, and Other Alumni in the News

Eric Holder and Lee Bollinger
Eric Holder speaking with Columbia president Lee C. Bollinger at a campus event (Eileen Barroso).

The short-term apartment-rental site Airbnb hired former US attorney general Eric Holder ’73CC, ’76LAW to create its new anti-discrimination policy. The company has recently been under fire after a Harvard University study and other reports found bias against Black and LGBTQ guests.

The Carnegie Corporation honored Deogratias Niyizonkiza ’01GS as a part of an initiative called Great Immigrants: The Pride of America. Niyizonkiza came to the United States as refugee from war-torn Burundi and later founded a medical clinic and public-health center in his native village. (For more on Niyizonkiza’s work, see Columbia Magazine’s Summer 2014 cover story, “The Road to Kigutu.”)

Two Columbia baseball players signed with teams in the 2016 MLB draft. Pitcher George Thanopoulos ’16CC, who turned down an offer from the New York Mets a year ago to finish his Columbia degree, joined the Colorado Rockies organization. Second baseman Will Savage, who just finished his junior year at Columbia College, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the sixteenth round.

Brandon Victor Dixon ’07CC has been cast in the Broadway musical Hamilton, taking over the role of Aaron Burr from Leslie Odom Jr. Dixon has been nominated for two Tony Awards in acting. He also produced the 2014 Broadway debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which won the Tony for best musical revival.

Clara Roquet ’16SOA won the 2016 BAFTA US Student Film Award for her short film El Adiós. Roquet wrote and directed the film as a part of her Columbia coursework; it beat out 244 other submissions for the award.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ’87SIPA named Sree Sreenivasan ’93JRN as the city’s chief digital officer. In his new role, Sreenivasan will focus on reaching out to the city’s tech community and promoting civic engagement through technology. He previously held the same title at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, before that, at Columbia University.