SUNY Graduate Dara Kass, M.D., is the Class of 2024 Commencement Speaker

By Office of the President | Apr 30, 2024


Dara Kass, M.D.

As the academic year draws to a close, academic medical centers across the country are gearing up to celebrate commencement exercises. This event marks the culmination of years of rigorous study, training, and dedication to the pursuit of healing and knowledge.

I am proud to share that Dara Kass, M.D., a prominent emergency medicine physician, MSNBC healthcare contributor, and Biden administration appointee as Region II Regional Director in the United States Department of Health & Human Services, will serve as speaker for our 2024 commencement ceremonies.

Dr. Kass, a SUNY Downstate College of Medicine graduate, attributes her journey from student to healthcare policy leader to the transformative education and service ethos instilled at Downstate. As the founder of FemInEM, she champions gender equity in emergency medicine by supporting women in the field. Dr. Kass is a renowned advocate for frontline healthcare workers, particularly during COVID-19, ensuring their access to protective equipment.

Dr. Kass extends her advocacy to public health issues, including gun violence and reproductive healthcare. Her personal journey, which includes the significant act of donating her liver to her son, fuels her mission to revamp organ donation policies and enhance transplant accessibility.

Commencement planning brings together faculty, staff, and students to orchestrate a memorable event that celebrates the graduating class’s accomplishments and acknowledges their contributions. As these graduates embark on their journey into the healthcare profession, they are imbued with a deep sense of purpose, poised to effect positive change, and improve lives through their endeavors.

Congratulations to our graduates, faculty, staff, and the many supports, including family members, who have helped to make this accomplishment possible and this very special time unforgettable.