Skip to content

Northeastern University announces speakers for global campus commencements, and college and school ceremonies

Northeastern previously announced the speakers for its undergraduate and graduate commencement exercises at Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, May 5. Here’s a rundown of the rest of the speakers.

Silhouette of a person at the Seattle Commencement ceremony in 2023 wearing a cap and gown.
Northeastern has also announced the speakers for commencement ceremonies at its global campuses, as well as college and school ceremonies. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern University recently announced the speakers for its undergraduate and graduate commencement exercises on Sunday, May 5, at Fenway Park in Boston.

Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation, will address the graduate students at 10 a.m., while Pam Melroy, a trailblazing astronaut and deputy administrator for NASA, will address the undergraduates at 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, Northeastern has also announced the speakers for commencement ceremonies at its global campuses, as well as college and school ceremonies and celebrations. Additional speakers may be added.


Oakland, California

10 a.m. PT, Saturday, April 27

Holmgren Meadow on campus

Speaker: Miriam Warren, chief diversity officer at Yelp and board chair of the Yelp Foundation. A Mills College graduate, she joined Yelp in 2007, serving in a variety of marketing and operational roles, including vice president of new markets.


4 p.m. PT, Tuesday, May 7

Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle

Silicon Valley, California

4 p.m. PT, Thursday, May 9

Heritage Theater, 1 West Campbell Ave., Campbell, California


3 p.m. PT, Saturday, May 11

The Hyatt Regency, 655 Burrard St., Vancouver

Speaker: Brenda Bailey, minister of jobs, economic development and innovation of British Columbia. She previously worked in the video game industry and co-founded the first Canadian women-owned and operated video game studio.


4 p.m., Thursday, May 23

Meridian Hall, 1 Front St East, Toronto

Speaker: Olutoyin Oyelade, founding partner and CEO of InVcap Corp., an investment advisory firm. She’s also president and CEO of the Casa Foundation, a nonprofit promoting social change for African youth and women. 

Charlotte, North Carolina

3 p.m., Saturday, June 1

2151 Hawkins St., Charlotte

Speaker: Stephanie Kirkland, CEO of Identity Dynamics and Northeastern Ed.D. graduate. She has over 20 years of experience in personal, professional and organizational leadership development — with a focus on women of color.

Portland, Maine

4 p.m., Friday, June 14

Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, Maine


Doctor of Philosophy hooding and graduation

3 p.m., Monday, April 29

Speaker: Dario Gil, a Ph.D. and senior vice president and director of research at IBM.

D’Amore-McKim School of Business (graduate)

4 p.m. Tuesday, April 30

Speaker: Kerri Bernstein, a Northeastern graduate and executive vice president and corporate treasurer for American Express.

D’Amore-McKim School of Business (undergraduate)

9 a.m., Thursday, May 2

Speaker: Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization.

Khoury College of Computer Sciences (undergraduate)

2 p.m. Thursday, May 2

Khoury College of Computer Sciences (graduate)

6 p.m. Thursday, May 2

College of Arts, Media and Design 

9 a.m. Friday, May 3

College of Science (undergraduate)

1:30 p.m. Friday, May 3

Speaker: Northeastern trustee Deborah Dunsire, chair of the board of directors of Neurvati Neurosciences and former CEO of H. Lundbeck A/S, a bio pharmaceutical company.

College of Science (graduate)

6 p.m. Friday, May 3

Bouve College of Health Sciences 

9 a.m. Saturday, May 4

Speaker: Northeastern trustee Chris Viehbacher, president and CEO of Biogen, a multinational biotechnology company.

College of Engineering (undergraduate)

1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Speaker: Marc Raibert, a Northeastern graduate and executive director of The AI Institute and founder of Boston Dynamics.

College of Social Sciences and Humanities 

6 p.m. Saturday, May 4

College of Professional Studies (Ceremony 1)

10 a.m. Wednesday, May 8

Speaker: Ed DiSanto, a Northeastern graduate and former executive vice president at American Tower Corp.

College of Professional Studies (Ceremony 2)

3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8

Speaker: Ed DiSanto

School of Law 

2 p.m. Friday, May 10

Speaker: Mo Cowan, a Northeastern Law graduate and former U.S. senator for Massachusetts.