Commencement Speaker

Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H.

Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H.Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H. — a preventative medicine and public health physician, epidemiologist, and former executive director of Google.org — will speak to graduating medical students, their families and friends, and faculty and staff during the 2014 commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. May 16 in Hill Auditorium.

As president and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, Brilliant heads a team with a mission to confront global threats imperiling humanity — pandemics, climate change, water scarcity, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflict.

Brilliant, a former graduate and faculty member in the U-M School of Public Health, worked for more than a decade as a United Nations medical officer in India, where he played a key role in the successful World Health Organization smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He co-founded the Seva Foundation, an international non-governmental organization whose programs and grantees have surgically restored sight to more than 3.5 million blind people in over two-dozen countries. He served as founding chairman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee, and became a “first responder” for CDC’s bioterrorism response effort and a member of the World Economic Forum’s agenda council on catastrophic risk. He conceived the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Final Inch,” was a senior technical adviser to the movie “Contagion,” and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He received his master's degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and his M.D. from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He holds two honorary doctorates and a list of honors and awards including the “TED Prize” (2006), Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” (2008), UC Berkley’s “Public Health Hero” (2004) and UC Los Angeles’ “Public Health Champion” (2012).