Dr. Charity Dean OSU's 2023 Commencement Speaker

Feb. 14, 2023

Dear OSU Community Members,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Charity Dean, internal medicine specialist, CEO of The Public Health Company, and Oregon State alumnus, will be the commencement speaker at this year’s university-wide ceremony in Corvallis. OSU’s 154th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 17, in Reser Stadium.

As assistant director in the California Department of Public Health and co-chair of the state’s COVID-19 testing task force, Dr. Dean helped advise Governor Gavin Newsome and guide California’s pandemic response. Based on that experience, she left government to co-found The Public Health Company, a Silicon Valley venture capital-backed startup that is harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning to help global enterprises manage biological risk at scale. The company’s technology seeks to give businesses and other organizations the information they need to mitigate disruptions to their operations, supply chains and workforce.

Dr. Dean’s early recognition of the scope of the pandemic and inspiring leadership during the crisis feature prominently in Michael Lewis’ latest best-selling book “The Premonition: A Pandemic Story,” which confronts the federal government’s response to the spread and impact of COVID-19.

Prior to her work with the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Dean served as public health officer in Santa Barbara County and she’s held leadership roles in the Central Coast Medical Association, California Medical Association and California Conference of Local Health Officers. In 2018, she received a physician of the year award from the Central Coast Medical Association and recognition by California state legislators as a woman of the year.

Dr. Dean holds a doctor of medicine from the Tulane University School of Medicine, a master’s degree from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a bachelor of science in microbiology from Oregon State University. She graduated cum laude from OSU’s Honors College in 2000. She grew up in rural Oregon.

I am honored that Dr. Charity Dean will give the 2023 commencement address, inspiring and motivating graduates as they begin their lives beyond OSU.


Edward Feser

Provost and Executive Vice President

About Oregon State University’s commencement ceremonies: The university-wide commencement ceremony held in Corvallis on June 17 celebrates all OSU graduates including Ecampus and OSU-Cascades graduates. OSU-Cascades’ commencement ceremony for graduates attending OSU-Cascades will be held in Bend on June 18. OSU-Cascades students are welcome to attend both ceremonies.