Commencement 2021

Speaker & Distinguished Guests

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Commencement Speaker

Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H.


Des Moines University 2021 Commencement Speaker Michael T. OsterholmDr. Michael Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Osterholm was appointed to President-elect Joe Biden's 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board in November 2020. From June 2018 through May 2019, he served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. He is also on the Board of Regents at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Dr. Osterholm is an international leader on our preparedness for an influenza pandemic and on the growing concern about the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons. In his New York Times best-selling 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, he details the most pressing infectious disease threats of our day and lays out a nine-point strategy on how to address them, with preventing a global flu pandemic at the top of the list. He provided a comprehensive and pointed review of America's current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times best-selling 2001 book, Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council of Foreign Relations, Dr. Osterholm has authored more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters, and is a frequently invited guest lecturer on the topic of epidemiology of infectious diseases. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals, including Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, and he is a reviewer for 24 additional journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Science. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense and the CDC. A fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), he has received numerous honors for his work.

Officers of the Academic Procession
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