Dr. Charity Dean

Dr. Charity Dean, internal medicine specialist, CEO of The Public Health Company, and Oregon State alumnus, will be the commencement speaker for OSU's 154th Commencement Ceremony. 

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 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 an Honors Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Dean graduated cum laude from Oregon State in 2000. She grew up in rural Oregon.

Oregon State is honored to have Dr. Charity Dean give the 2023 commencement address.