Airbnb co-founder to attend Niskayuna commencement

1999 graduate to be inducted into high school's hall of fame
Brian Chesky.
Brian Chesky.

NISKAYUNA — Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, will speak at Niskayuna Central School’s commencement ceremony on June 22.

Chesky, who together with Joe Gebbie and Nathan Blecharczyk started the online marketplace for people to list and secure travel accomodations around the world, will also be inducted into the high school’s hall of fame during the ceremony, according to district spokesman Matt Leon.

Tickets to the event, which starts at 7 p.m. and will take place in Proctors theater, are sold out, and there is a waiting list of guests of graduates for any seats that become available, Leon said.

Chesky, who graduated from Niskayuna in 1999, is slated to address the graduating class after he is inducted into the hall of fame — just before the presentation of graduates and the distribution of diplomas, Leon said.

Chesky has been named to Fortune magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, and in 2015 Time magazine named him one of the “100 Most Influential People” of the year. This past year, Forbes Magazine named Chesky one of its Global Game Changers.

President Obama appointed Chesky as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015, and in that role, he traveled to Cuba and Kenya to support local entrepreneurs and startups. 

He is also signatory of the “Giving Pledge,” pledging to donate the majority of his wealth to charity, and has championed Airbnb’s longstanding efforts in assisting with disaster relief, helping to address the global refugee crisis, and supporting local causes that improve communities all around the world.

Airbnb’s history hasn’t been without controversy, however, as some hotel companies and regulators in many countries have said that allowing renters into residential areas presents safety concerns for neighbors, as well as a host of other legal issues.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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