United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2023, the university announced on March 30. Mohammed will receive an honorary degree along with six other individuals at the commencement ceremony on May 21.
Mohammed joined the U.N. in 2012 as special adviser to then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Before then, she worked to design schools and clinics in Nigeria and became the country’s Minister of Environment, steering the country’s efforts on climate action.
“Mohammed is noted for her efforts on climate action and sustainability, and I look forward to welcoming her to campus to share her important message for our graduating students,” University President Anthony Monaco wrote in an email to the Tufts community.
Mohammed will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Mary Chin, Louis A. Fiore (D’62), Carla Hayden, James McGovern, Alan D. Solomont (A’70) and Kehinde Wiley will also receive honorary doctorate degrees.
Chin, a licensed social worker, is the executive director of the Asian American Civic Association, which provides workplace training and student services to immigrants. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.
Fiore, a dentist and philanthropist, has supported Tufts by serving on the Dental Board of Advisors and has provided funding for Rachel’s Amphitheater — named for his mother — on the Boston Health Sciences campus. He received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree at a private ceremony on March 3.
Hayden currently serves as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Nominated to the position by President Barack Obama in 2016, she is the first woman and the first African American to lead the Library of Congress, which is the largest library in the world. Hayden will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
McGovern is the U.S. representative for Massachusetts’ 2nd Congressional District. Born in Worcester, Mass., he has served in Congress since 1997 and is the leading Democrat on the House Rules committee. McGovern will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Solomont is the former dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and has served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra. He is a trustee emeritus of the university, and the founder and namesake of a Tisch College speaker series. Solomont will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.
Wiley is a visual artist known for his portrayals of modern Black, brown and African diasporic figures. He was selected by Barack Obama to paint his official presidential portrait in 2018, becoming the first African American artist to paint a presidential portrait for the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. Wiley will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.