Meet our convocation speaker!

To the Harvard Chan community,

I am delighted to announce that Melissa Hoffer, Massachusetts’ first climate chief, will deliver the convocation speech for the Class of 2024 on Wednesday, May 22.

Chief Hoffer has dedicated her career to environmental protection and environmental justice, working in both state and federal government as well as in nonprofit advocacy to tackle the climate crisis.

Chief Melissa HofferWhen she was appointed to her current role in 2022 — becoming the first cabinet-level climate chief in any U.S. state — she noted: “The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face, but it also presents an unprecedented opportunity for us to build a better, healthier, more equitable future.” That sentiment aligns perfectly with Harvard Chan School’s ideals.

Over the past year, Chief Hoffer has developed dozens of recommendations for climate action, met with advocates across the state, and forged partnerships throughout the government to urgently implement climate solutions. She previously served in the Biden administration as principal deputy general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency and held a senior position at the Conservation Law Foundation.

Chief Hoffer spoke at Harvard Chan School last spring as part of our Climate, Health & Equity symposium and impressed the audience with her energy, vision, passion, and warmth. I know she will inspire our graduates and their guests this May.

I am very much looking forward to welcoming Chief Hoffer to our campus. In the meantime, I encourage you to regularly check the School’s website for more details about graduation week.



Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD
Dean of the Faculty
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health