February 11, 2021

Joneigh S. Khaldun, M.D., MPH to serve as 2021 Medical School Commencement speaker

An alumna of the University of Michigan, she is chief medical executive for the State of Michigan and chief deputy director for health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Joneigh S. Khaldun, M.D., MPH

The University of Michigan Medical School and its Student Council are excited to announce that Joneigh S. Khaldun, M.D., MPH, FACEP, chief medical executive for the State of Michigan and chief deputy director for health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), will deliver the commencement address for our medical students at their 2021 graduation ceremony on May 14.

To ensure the safety of our graduates, their families and friends, and the Medical School community during the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Commencement ceremony will be a virtual event. In the spring, we will share details on how you can watch Khaldun’s address online and celebrate our graduating Class of 2021.

Khaldun provides overall medical guidance for the State of Michigan as a cabinet member of the governor, and oversees public health and aging programs, Medicaid, and behavioral health for MDHHS. On Feb. 10, President Biden appointed her to the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which is charged with issuing a range of recommendations to help inform the COVID-19 response and recovery.

Prior to her role at MDHHS, she was director and health officer for the Detroit Health Department, where she oversaw a robust community health assessment, established a comprehensive reproductive health network, spearheaded new human service efforts, and led Detroit’s response to the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in modern U.S. history.

Previously, she was the Baltimore City Health Department’s chief medical officer, where she led their efforts to address the opioid epidemic and expanded and modernized the department’s multiple clinical services and laboratory. Khaldun has also held positions as director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control at George Washington University, founder and director of the Fellowship in Health Policy in the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine, and fellow in the Obama administration’s Office of Health Reform in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Khaldun currently serves on the National Advisory Board for the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, and on the Health and Medicine Committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the U-M School of Public Health.

She has received numerous awards, including the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum, Beaumont Foundation 40 Under 40 Leaders in Public Health Award, and George Washington University Dean’s 950 Award. In 2020, she was named a Notable Woman in Health and Newsmaker of the Year by Crain’s Detroit.

Khaldun obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health in health policy from George Washington University, and completed residency in emergency medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she was elected chief resident in her final year. She practices emergency medicine part time at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

More information on the 2021 Commencement ceremony is available here.