Lois Quam to Speak at Macalester Commencement
April 22, 2011
College News, Alumni
RELATED STORIES: Commencement 2011 Senior Speakers, Commencement 2011, Brian Rosenberg at Commencement 2011, Lois Quam '83 at Commencement 2011
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St. Paul, Minn. – Lois Quam ‘83, executive director of the Global Health Initiative (GHI), is Macalester College’s 2011 commencement speaker. The title of her talk is “Entering the World.” Commencement will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the college. Macalester will be streaming commencement at macalester.edu/commencement/ Check back for updates.
President Barack Obama created GHI to help countries save lives today, and strengthen health systems to save more lives and build stronger nations tomorrow. Quam, who is based in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. State Department and reports to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, oversees GHI’s interagency efforts to advance GHI’s mission across the globe.
“With her commitment to global issues, connection to civic engagement and dedication to the community around her, Lois models Macalester’s core values,” said President Brian Rosenberg. “Our students do amazing things every day. So do alumnae like Lois Quam.”
In 1989, Quam’s leadership at the Minnesota Health Care Access Commission resulted in new legislation that brought health insurance to tens of thousands of Minnesotans, creating the lowest uninsured rate in the country at the time. In 1993, she served as a senior advisor to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s task force on health care reform.
In the private sector, Quam worked at UnitedHealth Group, where she was responsible for forming the relationship with AARP and overseeing the formation of Ovations, a business segment devoted to providing health and well-being products and service to Americans over 50.
In 2007, Quam served as president and CEO of the Public and Senior Markets segment at UnitedHealth Group, a $30 billion division she helped create and run, overseeing Medicare and Medicaid-based businesses with nearly 10 million members and serving approximately one-out-of-five Medicare beneficiaries.
In 2009, Quam created and chaired Tysvar, LLC, a Minnesota-based New Green Economy (NGE) and health care reform incubator dedicated to universal health care and bringing scale to the NGE. She also served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Prior to founding Tysvar, Quam was Head of Strategic Investments, Green Economy & Health at Piper Jaffray, a leading international Minneapolis-based investment bank.
Named in 2006 by Fortune magazine as one of America’s “50 Most Powerful Women,” Quam graduated magna cum laude from Macalester, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. As a Rhodes Scholar, Quam earned a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford in England.
Emily Schorr Lesnick and Matt Kazinka are the senior class speakers. Lesnick, from Yonkers, N.Y., majored in American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Kazinka, from Iowa City, Iowa, majored in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Urban Studies.
Dr. James Armstrong '51 will receive an honorary degree. Armstrong is an Emeritus Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs and Helena Professor of Old Testament Language and Exegesis Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Commencement ceremonies will include an academic procession led by the Macalester Pipe Band, flag bearers representing 39 countries of the 54 graduating international seniors plus the U.S. and U.N. flags, faculty in academic robes and the 458 seniors.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu