Ceremony Speaker and Performer Biographies

Dartmouth College Gospel Choir

Student and community vocalists join in the celebration with a jubilant and uplifting program, featuring soul-stirring voices, captivating rhythms, and heartfelt lyrics.

Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson, Guest Director 

Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson, award-winning teaching artist and global performer, serves as co-founder and artistic director at the acclaimed music and arts institution in Harlem, The Mama Foundation for the Arts, home of the longest Black Off-Broadway theater musical in the history of American theater, Mama I Want To Sing! After attending the Manhattan School of Music for jazz vocal studies and graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy for musical theater studies, she sang on world stages in various productions, including Porgy and Bess and starring in Mama I Want To Sing!

Dartmouth College Glee Club

The Dartmouth College Glee Club is a group of approximately 40 distinguished choral singers that boasts a rich musical and collegiate history. The club’s ever-increasing repertoire spans five centuries, including many of the masterworks of choral-orchestral literature, a cappella works and the cherished songs of Dartmouth College. The Glee Club has toured internationally to Canada, Italy, Brazil and Spain, and regularly tours all across the United States, most recently performing in schools across the American South, including New Orleans in 2017. The Glee Club prides itself on its integral role in the history of Dartmouth. Since its inception in the 1800s, the choir has maintained close ties to the Dartmouth community, performing traditional school songs at homecoming and graduation as well as more varied repertoire at termly concerts. 

Jessica M. Chiriboga ’24, Undergraduate Student Body President

Jessica Chiriboga ’24 is a senior studying history and government. She serves as student body president and president of the nonpartisan Dartmouth Political Union. This fall, Jessica is preparing her senior thesis and interning for the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. She enjoys the outdoors, constitutional law, and environmental history.

Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor, Tuck School of Business

Vijay Govindarajan is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck School of Business and a faculty partner at the Silicon Valley incubator Mach49. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. His latest book is The Three Box Solution

Christina Hull Paxson, President, Brown University

Christina H. Paxson has served as Brown University’s 19th president and professor of economics and public policy since 2012. She has fortified Brown’s standing as a leading research university known for excellence and innovation in undergraduate education, commitment to inclusion and access, and transformational vision in fueling economic development through community and government partnerships.

Shinobu Kitayama, the Robert B. Zajonc Collegiate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

Shinobu Kitayama is the Robert B. Zajonc Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan. Originally from Japan, he has taught at his alma mater and is recognized for his contributions to the theory of culture in psychology. A former president of the Association for Psychological Science, he is a Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association.

Elizabeth Cahill Lempres ’83, Thayer ’84, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Liz Cahill Lempres is a senior partner emeritus of McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy. She led McKinsey’s Global Consumer and Retail practice, the Global Private Equity Practice, was the managing partner of the Boston office and served on McKinsey’s Board of Directors. She also led McKinsey’s partner election and performance evaluation process globally and its global Women’s Initiative.

Iara M. Backes, Guarini ’22, MED ’24, Graduate Student Body Representative

Iara Maria Backes Olivares, PhD, earned her BS in Chemistry from the University of Florida. She is a current trainee of the MD/PhD program at Dartmouth, in her final year of medical school. She hopes to continue her research on perinatal infections as a future OBGYN physician scientist.

Allie K. Miller, Artificial Intelligence Business Leader and International Speaker

Allie K. Miller is a top artificial intelligence leader, adviser, and investor who has led large global AI initiatives at two of the five largest cloud providers in the world. She was most recently the Global Head of Machine Learning for Startups & Venture Capital at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Prior to that, she worked at IBM, spearheading development across computer vision, conversation, data, and regulation. Outside of work, she is a National Ambassador for AAAS, and has spoken about AI around the world, drafted national AI strategies, and created over 10 guidebooks on how to build successful AI projects. She shares the latest in AI to her more than 1 million social media followers on LinkedIn and was named LinkedIn Top Voice 2019-2023, Chief in Tech’s Top 100 Women in Tech to Watch, Award Magazine’s Top 50 Women in Tech, and ReadWrite’s Top 20 AI Speakers in the World.

Chloe Poston,Vice President for Culture, Belonging, and Strategic Engagement

Chloe Poston partners with leaders across campus to improve the culture for those who live, work, and study at Dartmouth. In addition to leading the Diversity and Inclusion team within the division she oversees the implementation of Toward Equity, an institutional strategic plan for DEI. A bio-analytical chemist turned inclusion and equity strategist, she has leveraged her background to develop data-informed practices for over 10 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University and completed her graduate studies at Brown University.

Beth Regan, Council of Elders Vice Chairwoman, Mohegan Tribe

Beth Regan was elected to the Council of Elders in 2014, appointed to the position of secretary in 2016 and vice chairwoman in 2020. With a career spanning over 35-years as a teacher at Tolland High School, she specialized in both Native American studies and Russian history, creating courses in both subjects. An integral part of the Mohegan Tribe’s partnership with the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program, she has created curriculum and lessons on Mohegan history and culture for Connecticut teachers of all grade levels to incorporate into their instruction. Outside the classroom, she has coached at the high school and collegiate levels. She has also spent over 30 years as a coach and volunteer for Special Olympics. Her work in all of these areas has earned her many citations as both Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, and she is a member of the athletic Halls of Fame at Eastern Connecticut State University, New Britain High School, and the Connecticut Girls Soccer Association. She holds two degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University, both a bachelor of science degree in history and education and a master’s degree in human relations.

New Hampshire Gov. Christopher T. Sununu, ex officio member of the Board of Trustees

Christopher T. Sununu is the 82nd Governor of New Hampshire and is currently serving his fourth two-year term. He graduated from M.I.T. with a BS in civil/environmental engineering.

The Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele ’85, Chaplain and Director of the William Jewett Tucker Center

The Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele, ’85, is the Chaplain and Director of the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Living here at Dartmouth. Before that, she was the rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Goffstown, N.H.. From 2013-2016, she served as the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life of the new William Jewett Tucker Center. Overall, she has served for almost 20 years in Episcopal parish ministry. She has also been deeply involved in social justice work, most recently as the chair of the Reconciliation Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. She also served as the Chair of the Dismantling Racism Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, as a member of the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection, and as an officer for United Valley Interfaith Project, a community organizing project in the greater Upper Valley. In addition to a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth, she holds a master of divinity from Yale University Divinity School and a doctor of ministry from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass..