Honorary Degree Recipients- 2016

Dermot Desmond Chairman  RESPECT and International Investor

Dermot Desmond


International Investor

Dermot Desmond is an international financier and philanthropist who has brought the same clarity of vision and focus that earned him success in the world of finance to RESPECT, an organization providing support and funding to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. 

Set-up by the Daughters of Charity, the organization was incorporated in 1995, and Mr. Desmond has chaired its board since its founding. Most recently, RESPECT established the DOCTRID (Daughters of Charity Technology, Research into Disability) Research Institute, a unique partnership of 16 universities and institutes of education in Ireland and abroad, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Together with funding from the European Union, the DOCTRID Research Institute is leading an initiative to support 40 Fellowships in the field of autism and intellectual disabilities. 

 Mr. Desmond is founder and chairman of International Investment & Underwriting (IIU), a private company operating from the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin and specializing in direct equity investment and underwriting, funds management, and capital markets trading. Before setting up his own company, Mr. Desmond worked for Citibank Dublin, The Investment Bank of Ireland, Dublin, and as a banking consultant to the World Bank on behalf of Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He conceived the establishment of a Financial Services Centre in Ireland in 1987, now a vibrant part of the Irish economy and host to half of the world's top 50 banks and top 20 insurance companies.

 Mr. Desmond is a board member of several companies, charities, and educational bodies.  He holds a number of honorary positions and has received many awards. His good works have been recognized around the world, including with the Ulysses Medal by University College, Dublin.

 Dermot Desmond was born in Cork and moved with his family to Dublin when he was six.  He was educated at Scoil Mhuire in Cork and at Good Counsel College in Wexford. 

Learn more about Dermot Desmond's philanthropic work in Ireland here.

Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA President Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA


Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

Claire Pomeroy is president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. She serves as chief executive officer of the Foundation and is responsible for advancing the Foundation's mission to "improve health by accelerating support for medical research through recognition of research excellence, public education and advocacy.”

An expert in infectious diseases, Dr. Pomeroy is a long-time advocate for patients, especially those with HIV/AIDS, and public health. She passionately supports ongoing investment in the full range of research. She has a special interest in health care policy, with a focus on the importance of the social determinants of health. She has published more than 100 articles and book chapters and edited three books.

Dr. Pomeroy serves on the Board of Trustees for the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Board of Directors for the Sierra Health Foundation; the Foundation for Biomedical Research; iBiology, Inc.; and New York Academy of Medicine.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Expanesthetics, Inc. and for Becton Dickinson & Company.  Dr. Pomeroy was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine in 2011.

Dr. Pomeroy received bachelors and medical degrees from the University of Michigan and completed her residency and fellowship training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota. She earned an MBA from the University of Kentucky. She has held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, University of Kentucky and University of California (UC) Davis; she is currently professor emerita at UC Davis. Dr. Pomeroy was chief of infectious diseases and associate dean for research and informatics at the University of Kentucky.  She joined UC Davis in 2003 as executive associate dean and in 2005 was appointed vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine. She became president of the Lasker Foundation in June 2013.

 Learn more about Dr. Claire Pomeroy's life work here.

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