Garth Graham, MD, MPH, an accomplished physician and leading authority on social determinants of health will deliver the commencement address at Regis College’s 2021 and 2020 Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 8.
Dr. Graham will also receive an honorary degree in recognition of his commitment to health equity, social change, and making credible public health information more accessible around the world.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Regis College announced earlier this year that Commencement for both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 will be virtual. The Class of 2020’s ceremony was postponed from last May. More than 2,000 graduates across associate, bachelor, graduate, and doctoral programs will be celebrated during two separate virtual events.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Graham will be the Commencement speaker and we have this opportunity to honor three amazing leaders in their field,” said Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN, president of Regis College. “Dr. Graham, Anne, and Jim are accomplished, dedicated, and passionate leaders that are true role models of how to advocate on behalf of those less fortunate and use your platform to be a commendable global citizen.”
Earlier this year, Dr. Graham was named the director and global head of healthcare and public health at Google/YouTube. In this role, he oversees clinical and public health strategies, including the platform’s efforts to work with leading health organizations to reach communities and make high-quality health content available to the community.
“I am deeply honored to serve as commencement speaker,” said Graham. “Regis College is a national leader in health science and nursing education. This past year has been particularly challenging for students given the impact of the pandemic but they have continued to shine and demonstrate the spirit that embodies Regis College.”
Prior to joining Google/YouTube, Dr. Graham served as vice president and chief community health officer for CVS Health. He worked to ensure differentiated, measurable, and scalable approaches to addressing social determinants of health in communities across the country. Before joining the private sector, Dr. Graham served as deputy assistant secretary of health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing the Office of Minority Health in both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Born in Jamaica, Dr. Graham moved to Miami where he attended Florida International University before pursuing his master's in public health at Yale University. He completed his clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins.
Finucane leads Bank of America’s global environmental, social, governance, sustainable finance and public policy efforts, and will receive an honorary degree in recognition of her dedication to corporate social responsibility and charitable giving.
As chairman of the board of Bank of America Europe, the firm’s EU bank headquartered in Dublin, Finucane oversees more than €60 billion in assets, and as chair of the Global ESG Committee, directs all of Bank of America’s socially responsible investing efforts. She also co-chairs the Sustainable Markets Committee, which collaborates across business lines to deliver innovative financing solutions in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including affordable housing, sustainable energy, clean water and sanitation, education, and health care.
Finucane has received numerous professional and public service accolades including Forbes, Fortune, and Barron’s Most Powerful Women lists and American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. Active in the community, Finucane serves on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards of directors including the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the World Bank Group’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), CVS Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mass General Brigham Healthcare, Special Olympics, the (RED) Advisory Board, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and The Ireland Funds.
“Regis College is an essential part of the fabric of New England academia. The extraordinary education Regis offers has also been part of the fabric of my family: my mother, sister, and my daughter are all proud graduates,” said Finucane. “I’m delighted to receive an honorary degree during the commencement in May and I am sending congratulations to everyone celebrating their graduation this year.”
James T. Brett, president and chief executive officer at The New England Council, was appointed by the council’s board of directors in 1996. Mr. Brett will receive an honorary degree in recognition of his leadership in advocating for public policy issues related to health care, education, financial services, and energy throughout New England and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Brett is a recipient of several recognitions, among them the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed Chair in disability. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He now serves as the chairman of both the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disabilities and the Disabled Person Protection Commission.
“I have tremendous admiration for Regis College and the important role that the college plays in providing quality education to thousands of students, who in turn become valued members of our region’s workforce and ensure continued economic growth in New England,” said Brett. “The college is a valued member of The New England Council, and a partner in our work to advocate for our region’s priorities in Washington, D.C. I am deeply honored to receive this honorary degree, and look forward to participating in the commencement exercises in May.”