Northeastern announces 2013 honorary degree recipients 

April 29, 2013

Northeastern commencement At its 111th commencement exercises in May, the university will present honorary degrees to an accomplished group of
influential leaders, as well as one that recognizes all of the first responders and law enforcement who acted with
extraordinary courage, compassion, and resolve following the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. Northeastern file photo.

At Northeastern's 111th com­mence­ment exer­cises in May, the uni­ver­sity will present hon­orary degrees to an accom­plished group of influ­en­tial leaders, as well as one that rec­og­nizes the first respon­ders and law enforce­ment per­sonnel who acted with extra­or­di­nary courage, com­pas­sion, and resolve fol­lowing the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

The recip­i­ents of hon­orary degrees at com­mence­ment are: Nikesh Arora, senior vice pres­i­dent and chief busi­ness officer at Google who earned his MBA from North­eastern in 1992; Bar­bara Lynch, an award-​​winning and nation­ally rec­og­nized chef who grew up in South Boston; Jack D. Bryant, an inno­vator in the engi­neering industry, a Con­gres­sional Gold Medal recip­ient, and a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, who earned his master's degree in engi­neering man­age­ment from North­eastern in 1976; and Mar­garet Wood Hassan, New Hampshire's gov­ernor and a 1985 grad­uate of Northeastern's School of Law.

Boston Police Com­mis­sioner Edward Davis will accept the hon­orary degree on behalf of all the first respon­ders and law enforce­ment who fol­lowing the Boston Marathon bomb­ings self­lessly sprung into action to pro­vide care and sup­port to those in need fol­lowing the tragic events of April 15. First respon­ders include public safety offi­cials, emer­gency med­ical per­sonnel, stu­dents, marathon run­ners, and count­less others. Mass­a­chu­setts Gov. Deval Patrick will read the hon­orary degree at commencement.

"This year's hon­orary degree recip­i­ents rep­re­sent many shining facets of the human endeavor," said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. "Their remark­able achieve­ments in global com­merce, entre­pre­neur­ship, and public ser­vice will inspire our grad­u­ating stu­dents and serve as enduring models for our society."

The uni­ver­sity announced in Feb­ruary that Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group pres­i­dent, will serve as the com­mence­ment speaker at the under­grad­uate cer­e­mony on May 3, 2013. Kim, a global expert and advo­cate for public health, will deliver the 111th com­mence­ment address to 20,000 under­grad­u­ates, family, friends, and uni­ver­sity leaders at TD Garden in Boston. The morning com­mence­ment cer­e­mony will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Arora will deliver the after­noon grad­uate com­mence­ment address and receive his hon­orary degree on May 3, and Hassan will deliver the School of Law com­mence­ment address and receive her hon­orary degree on May 24. Both exer­cises will be held at Matthews Arena.

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim
Under­grad­uate com­mence­ment speaker

Jim Yong Kim has ded­i­cated him­self to improving the lives of the world's poor, as World Bank Group pres­i­dent, as an edu­ca­tional leader, and as a physi­cian and anthropologist.

As the 12th pres­i­dent of the World Bank Group—a posi­tion he has held since July 2012—Dr. Kim leads an inter­na­tional finan­cial insti­tu­tion ded­i­cated to reducing global poverty by pro­moting invest­ments in eco­nomic devel­op­ment. He has advanced the World Bank's strategic ini­tia­tives through an emphasis on collaboration—not just with gov­ern­ments and other insti­tu­tions, but also with indi­vid­uals. By lis­tening to people—their ques­tions, ideas, and opinions—Kim believes the Word Bank can make its pro­grams even more effective.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Kim served as pres­i­dent of Dart­mouth Col­lege, becoming the first physi­cian to hold that pres­ti­gious post. Kim suc­cess­fully led the uni­ver­sity through the global finan­cial crisis of 2009 and 2010, and was the guiding force behind the Dart­mouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science—the first inter­na­tional net­work of researchers and prac­ti­tioners ded­i­cated to devel­oping new models of health­care delivery and achieving better health out­comes at lower costs.

As director of the World Health Organization's Depart­ment of HIV/​AIDS, he led the "3 by 5" ini­tia­tive, which sought to treat 3 mil­lion newHIV/​AIDS patients in devel­oping coun­tries with anti­retro­viral drugs by 2005. Launched in Sep­tember 2003, the ambi­tious pro­gram ulti­mately reached its goal in 2007.

Before that, Kim teamed up with another pio­neering physician-​​anthropologist, Dr. Paul Farmer, to found Part­ners In Health, a Boston-​​based non­profit orga­ni­za­tion now working in impov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ties on four con­ti­nents. Part­ners in Health proved that first-​​class health­care can be deliv­ered to the poorest sec­tions of the poorest countries.

Born in 1959 in Seoul, South Korea, Jim Yong Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Mus­ca­tine, Iowa. He grad­u­ated magna cum laude from Brown Uni­ver­sity in 1982, earned his med­ical degree from Har­vard Med­ical School in 1991, and received a Ph.D. in anthro­pology from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity in 1993.

Before assuming the Dart­mouth pres­i­dency, Kim held pro­fes­sor­ships and chaired depart­ments at Har­vard Med­ical School, the Har­vard School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women's Hos­pital, in Boston. He also served as director of Harvard's François-​​Xavier Bag­noud Center for Health and Human Rights.

Among his many awards and honors, Kim received a MacArthur "Genius" Fel­low­ship in 2003, was named one of America's "25 Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report in 2005, and was selected as one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influ­en­tial People in the World" in 2006.

Nikesh Arora

Nikesh Arora
Grad­uate cer­e­mony com­mence­ment speaker
Hon­orary Degree: Doctor of Commerce

Nikesh Arora, senior vice pres­i­dent and chief busi­ness officer at Google, is a busi­ness leader who brings a rare com­bi­na­tion of intel­lec­tual depth, mar­keting savvy, and a visionary's under­standing of the pos­si­bil­i­ties inherent in technology.

As Google's chief busi­ness officer, Arora is in charge of all rev­enue and cus­tomer oper­a­tions, as well as mar­keting and part­ner­ships, and is one of the six exec­u­tive offi­cers who guide the tech­nology giant's operations.

Since joining the com­pany in 2004, the man that one busi­ness pub­li­ca­tion referred to as Google's "persuader-​​in-​​chief" has had an out­sized impact on Google's suc­cess in global markets.

In addi­tion to his cur­rent posi­tion, Arora has led Google's global direct sales oper­a­tions and devel­oped and man­aged the company's oper­a­tions in the Euro­pean, Middle Eastern, and African mar­kets. He is widely cred­ited with dri­ving rev­enues and building Google's rela­tions with adver­tisers from inter­na­tional markets.

Nearly all of Google's rev­enue derives from adver­tising, and today more than half of that rev­enue comes from out­side the U.S., com­pared to just one-​​third when Arora joined the company.

Google's suc­cess in those new mar­kets reflects the company's strength in under­standing and adapting to change by intro­ducing new fea­tures and prod­ucts, and Arora's knowl­edge, expe­ri­ence, and vision is con­sid­ered inte­gral to the company's innovation-​​based culture.

He holds an MBA from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and a master of sci­ence in finance from Boston College—both awarded with distinction—as well as a bachelor's degree in elec­trical engi­neering from the Insti­tute of Tech­nology in Varanasi, India.

He has broad expe­ri­ence working in sev­eral dif­ferent indus­tries. He served as chief mar­keting officer and a member of the man­age­ment board at T-​​Mobile Europe, spear­heading all product devel­op­ment, ter­mi­nals, and mar­keting activ­i­ties for the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm. Arora is also a char­tered finan­cial ana­lyst, and has held man­age­ment posi­tions at Putnam Invest­ments and Fidelity Invest­ments in Boston.

Per­haps most impor­tant, he brings a vision of the Internet's lim­it­less hori­zons to his lead­er­ship. In a 2011 inter­view with North­eastern Mag­a­zine, he described the Internet as a rev­o­lu­tionary medium that is causing "a fun­da­mental shift in the busi­ness world that's still playing out"—particularly in the realm of mar­keting and advertising.

As Arora noted in an inter­view last year with India's daily news­paper Busi­ness Stan­dard, Internet con­nec­tivity glob­ally has moved from "nice-​​to-​​have" to "must-​​have" in five years, with a key gen­er­a­tion yet to come of age: the gen­er­a­tion that does not know a world without Google or Facebook.

Jack D. Bryant

Jack D. Bryant
Hon­orary Degree: Doctor of Engineering

Over the past four decades, Jack D. Bryant's award-​​winning engi­neering firm, Bryant Asso­ciates, has helped shape and strengthen com­mu­ni­ties throughout the United States, Canada, South­east Asia, and North Africa.

From water and waste­water issues to con­struc­tion man­age­ment to trans­porta­tion and traffic engi­neering, Bryant Asso­ciates has earned a rep­u­ta­tion for bringing clear vision and state-​​of-​​the-​​art solu­tions to the 21st-​​century infra­struc­ture chal­lenges today's cities face.

Under Bryant's inspired lead­er­ship the com­pany has won numerous awards, from orga­ni­za­tions ranging from the Boston Society of Land­scape Archi­tects to the Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Asso­ci­a­tion of America. Today he con­tinues to serve as pres­i­dent, respon­sible for directing all busi­ness oper­a­tions and over­seeing projects in the firm's six offices nationwide.

Bryant's impact spans far beyond the world of engi­neering. He also played a crit­ical role in our nation's history—a role for which he was awarded one of the nation's highest civilian honors, the Con­gres­sional Gold Medal, by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush in 2007.

During World War II, he became one of 996 Tuskegee Airmen, the renowned group of African Amer­i­cans whose achieve­ments in that war helped shift America's views on racial equality and integration.

Fol­lowing in the foot­steps of his older brother Joseph, Bryant trained to be a B-​​25 bomber pilot. The war ended before he could see combat, and Jack Bryant was dis­charged from the Army Air Corps in 1946.

But the expe­ri­ence shaped his life in many ways, starting with the GIBill, which enabled Bryant to attend the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan and earn a bachelor's degree in civil engi­neering. He sub­se­quently enrolled at North­eastern, receiving a master's degree in engi­neering management.

Among his numerous honors and dis­tinc­tions, the North­eastern alumnus is a fellow of the Society of Amer­ican Mil­i­tary Engineers.

He holds pro­fes­sional reg­is­tra­tions in many states and mem­ber­ships in sev­eral orga­ni­za­tions: the Amer­ican Society of Civil Engi­neers, the Amer­ican Railway Engi­neering and Maintenance-​​of-​​Way Asso­ci­a­tion, the National Society of Pro­fes­sional Engi­neers, and the Amer­ican Road and Trans­porta­tion Builders Asso­ci­a­tion. In addi­tion, Bryant has served as pres­i­dent of the Boston Post Chapter of the Society of Amer­ican Mil­i­tary Engineers.

Bryant also holds posi­tions related to his his­toric role, serving as a sup­porting member of the pro­posed Mass­a­chu­setts Air and Space Museum. More recently, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Avi­a­tion Hall of Fame.

Edward F. Davis III

First Respon­ders and Law Enforce­ment
Rep­re­sented by Edward F. Davis III
Boston Police Com­mis­sioner
Hon­orary Degree: Doctor of Public Service

In the moments after two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, and in the tense, dan­gerous hours and days that fol­lowed, many hun­dreds of caring and coura­geous people stepped up: law enforce­ment offi­cers, med­ical per­sonnel, public offi­cials, run­ners and spec­ta­tors, stu­dent vol­un­teers, and count­less others.

The bombing and its after­math took four inno­cent lives, maimed scores of other vic­tims, and put police offi­cers in mortal peril; one officer was fatally shot and another badly wounded. And the attackers sought to achieve the larger aim of all ter­ror­ists: to sow fear and mis­trust in society and deny the common humanity that binds us together.

The ter­ror­ists failed in that larger, more destruc­tive goal, thanks to the qual­i­ties of lead­er­ship dis­played by the people we honor: extra­or­di­nary bravery, faith, self­less­ness, and deter­mi­na­tion. They saved lives and soothed spirits in med­ical tents and in hos­pi­tals, devoted long hours of inves­tiga­tive work to iden­tify the sus­pects, and per­sisted in putting them­selves in harm's way to appre­hend them.

Their for­ti­tude, com­mit­ment, and con­fi­dence spread across our region, engen­dering in our city and com­mu­nity a lasting sense of pride, strength, and unity. Ulti­mately, they showed America and the world what it means to be "Boston Strong."

Mar­garet Wood Hassan

Mar­garet Wood Hassan
School of Law com­mence­ment speaker
Hon­orary Degree: Doctor of Laws

Throughout her illus­trious career in public ser­vice, New Hamp­shire Gov­ernor Mar­garet Wood Hassan has cham­pi­oned gov­ern­ment as an active partner in solving the com­plex chal­lenges con­fronting her state and the New Eng­land region.

First as a state leg­is­lator, and now as the Granite State's second-​​ever woman chief exec­u­tive, Hassan's lead­er­ship has been marked by her ability to bring people together to find common ground around core issues such as edu­ca­tion, health­care, and jobs.

Elected gov­ernor in 2012, she is the dri­ving force behind "Inno­vateNH," a col­lab­o­ra­tion among busi­ness, edu­ca­tion, and gov­ern­ment aimed at ele­vating New Hampshire's com­pet­i­tive posi­tion in the global economy. She also is working with law­makers from both par­ties to develop a bal­anced budget that keeps taxes low while pro­tecting New Hampshire's vital public services.

Hassan's ability to get things done led Busi­ness NH Mag­a­zine to name her one of the state's most pow­erful people in 2010, when she was majority leader of the state Senate.

The Boston native and North­eastern Uni­ver­sity law school alumna was first elected to the New Hamp­shire Senate in 2004. During her three suc­cessful terms in office, she focused her leg­isla­tive efforts on expanding access to health­care, improving K-​​12 edu­ca­tion, cre­ating regional approaches to meet infra­struc­ture needs, and devel­oping the foun­da­tion for a green economy in the state.

Under her lead­er­ship, New Hamp­shire enacted uni­versal kinder­garten, increased the high school dropout age to 18 to address a rising dropout rate, and estab­lished alter­na­tive edu­ca­tion programs.

When the Great Reces­sion struck the state in 2008, she led pas­sage of New Hamp­shire Working, a nation­ally rec­og­nized effort to aid busi­nesses and workers. That same year, she spon­sored New Hampshire's par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Regional Green­house Gas Ini­tia­tive, cre­ated by states and provinces in the north­eastern United States and eastern Canada to reduce green­house gas emis­sions and sup­port the devel­op­ment of renew­able energy sources.

Hassan began her career in public ser­vice in 1999, when then-​​New Hamp­shire gov­ernor Jeanne Sha­heen appointed her to a state com­mis­sion studying the ade­quacy of edu­ca­tional resources for people with dis­abil­i­ties. Hassan's invalu­able expe­ri­ence as an attorney and as the parent of a child with dis­abil­i­ties allowed her to bring a unique per­spec­tive to the commission's work.

She began her law career at the law firm Palmer­Dodge Advi­sors before working as asso­ciate gen­eral counsel for Brigham and Women's Hospital/​Partners Health­care of Boston. Hassan earned her bach­elor of arts from Brown University.

Bar­bara Lynch

Bar­bara Lynch
Hon­orary Degree: Doctor of Public Service

Bar­bara Lynch is one of the country's leading chefs and restau­ra­teurs. As CEO of Bar­bara Lynch Gruppo, she employs more than 200 pro­fes­sionals and over­sees the oper­a­tions of eight prop­er­ties devoted to the art of fine dining.

Lynch has built on her suc­cess to give back to the com­mu­nity through phil­an­thropy and a variety of activ­i­ties to pro­mote women as leaders.

In 2012, she estab­lished the Bar­bara Lynch Foun­da­tion, ded­i­cated to helping Boston's com­mu­ni­ties create healthy and inspired futures for its youth through pro­grams to build lead­er­ship, life skills, and access to nutri­tious foods. Among its ini­tia­tives is Meet the Worms!, which engages chil­dren in activ­i­ties that teach the value of nutri­tion, exer­cise, and com­mu­nity involvement.

As a woman who has achieved sin­gular suc­cess in a pro­fes­sion tra­di­tion­ally dom­i­nated by men, Lynch has devoted great energy to fos­tering women in lead­er­ship roles. She cre­ated Full Plate, a men­toring series fea­turing pro­fes­sional women sharing their sto­ries of chal­lenges met and adver­sity overcome.

The story of Lynch's path to the top of her pro­fes­sion is as com­pelling as one of her sig­na­ture dishes.

While growing up in South Boston, Lynch, at the age of 13, got her first kitchen job cooking at a local rec­tory. In high school, an influ­en­tial home eco­nomics teacher and an expe­ri­ence working with Chef Mario Bonello piqued her interest in becoming a pro­fes­sional chef. By her early 20s, she was working with some of Boston's greatest culi­nary talents.

Fol­lowing a sojourn in Italy, where she learned about the cui­sine from local cooks, Lynch became the exec­u­tive chef at Gal­leria Ital­iana. She brought national acclaim to the trat­toria when she cap­tured Food & Wine's "Ten Best New Chefs in America" award.

That suc­cess inspired Lynch to open No. 9 Park, in Boston's Beacon Hill neigh­bor­hood. The restau­rant was named one of the "Top 25 New Restau­rants in America" by Bon Appétit and "Best New Restau­rant" by Food & Wine.

In the decade fol­lowing, Lynch opened a variety of new prop­er­ties, or "con­cepts," in Boston, all with a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally cre­ative approach.

In 2010, she and her team cre­ated the sig­na­ture prop­erty, Menton. It received prized recog­ni­tion from Relais & Châteaux, a global mark of excel­lence in the restau­rant world. Menton is the only Relais & Châteaux prop­erty in Boston, and Lynch is cur­rently the only woman in the United States to hold the dis­tin­guished title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

Lynch's tal­ents have earned her national recog­ni­tion, including the Best Chef North­east award from the James Beard Foun­da­tion in 2003, and the Women Chefs & Restau­ra­teurs' Bar­bara Tropp President's Award in 2011.

Her first cook­book, Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tra­di­tion, received a pres­ti­gious Gour­mand award for "Best Chef Cook­book" for the United States. She and her recipes have been fea­tured in pub­li­ca­tions ranging from Bon Appétit to Inc. mag­a­zine, and on tele­vi­sion pro­grams such as Top Chef and Today.

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