UMFK announces 2019 commencement speaker
FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent has announced that Carrie Hessler-Radelet will be the keynote speaker for the 137th commencement ceremony held on May 11, 2019, at 1 p.m. in the UMFK Sports Center.
Hessler-Radelet is the president and CEO of Project Concern International (PCI). PCI is a global development organization working with families and communities to enhance health, end hunger, overcome hardship and advance women and girls in 15 countries.
“Ms. Hessler-Radelet is an excellent example of selfless service and commitment to a cause,” said UMFK President Dr. John Short. “Throughout her career, she has helped to bring awareness to global poverty and hunger. We are fortunate to be able to include her in our commencement ceremony.”
Prior to PCI, Hessler-Radelet served as director of the Peace Corps (2012-2017) and deputy director (2010-2012), leading America’s iconic international volunteer service organization with programs in over 65 countries. At Peace Corps she led historic reforms to modernize and strengthen the agency to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Before being appointed to the Peace Corps by President Obama, Hessler-Radelet worked as the vice president and director of the Washington, D.C., office of John Snow Inc. (JSI), overseeing the management of public health programs in 85 countries around the world. Her decades of global health work also included serving as the lead consultant on the first five year global HIV/AIDS strategy for the President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), working with USAID in Indonesia on maternal and child health and HIV programming, founding the Special Olympics in Gambia, and serving as a Peace Corps volunteer with her husband in Western Samoa.
Hessler-Radelet is passionate about empowering communities to discover their own sustainable, innovative solutions to poverty. She holds a master of science in health policy and management from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in political science and economics from Boston University.
Submitted by the Marketing and Communication Office of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.