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Obama campaign manager to speak at UM graduation

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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama's former campaign manager will speak at the University of Montana's graduation ceremony next month, the school said Monday.

Jim Messina is a Boise, Idaho, native and attended UM from 1988 to 1993, where he studied journalism and political science. He worked for U.S. Sen. Max Baucus and other members of Congress until 2008.

He was Obama's national chief of staff for the 2008 presidential campaign and the president's campaign manager in 2012, working as White House deputy chief of staff for operations between the two elections.

Messina is now the chairman of a nonprofit called Organizing for Action and the head of the consulting firm The Messina Group.

The university's commencement is May 18. The school announced Messina as its featured speaker Monday.

"We are thrilled to have such a prominent alumnus return to UM and share his experiences with our graduates," President Royce Engstrom said in a statement.

"It's apparent that Jim loves UM and attributes his success to the education he received here. I'm sure he will have much to offer our students and their families."

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