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Charlie Baker Speaking at Commencement

2024 Commencement Speakers

105th Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

Joe Preston, President and CEO of New Balance
Joe Preston
President and Chief Executive Officer, New Balance

Joe Preston is president and CEO of New Balance, the leading $6.5 billion global sportswear brand with more than 9,000 associates and 3,500 retail locations worldwide. Privately held New Balance is recognized for its values-led culture and long-standing commitment to domestic manufacturing.

Joe is a dynamic and accomplished president and CEO with a demonstrable track record of strong leadership and an innate understanding of the global consumer retail and manufacturing industry. He began his career at New Balance in 1995 and has almost 30 years of experience in the footwear and apparel industry, where his success has emanated from leveraging innovation and insights on today’s consumer to drive unparalleled growth in challenging times. His tenure at New Balance includes seven years in international roles and a decade spent overseeing the company’s commercial business, affording Joe firsthand experience with every aspect of product creation from design to manufacturing to marketing and merchandising. Before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2018, Joe had served as vice president, Asia Pacific; executive vice president International; executive vice president, Global Product & Marketing, and chief commercial officer.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Merrimack College and an MBA from Babson Graduate School of Business.

Joe serves as chair of the board of trustees for The Sports Museum, a non-profit educational institute that builds character in kids through the power of sports.  He is an executive committee board member of the American Apparel & Footwear Association and a member of the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Joe was recently named board chair for the Two Ten Footwear Foundation and serves as vice chair of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. He previously served as a member of the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.  

49th Graduate Commencement Speaker

Photo of Karan Dyson, Vice President, Global Grooming Process and Engineering, Procter & Gamble
Karan Dyson
Vice President, Global Grooming Process and Engineering, Procter & Gamble

Karan Dyson is a native of Mobile, Alabama, where she attended John L. LeFlore Magnet High School. She holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Tuskegee University. She is married to Clyde Dyson and has twin adult step-daughters, Breanna and Brittany Dyson. Karan currently is vice president Global Grooming Process & Engineering at Procter & Gamble-Gillette in South Boston. She is an accomplished engineering executive with vision and leadership insights to strategically plan, direct and manage global programs, engineering innovation, technology master planning and new site construction.

With over 27 years of experience at P&G, Karan has led Global Process and Engineering, R&D and Manufacturing organizations across Baby Care, Fabric and Home Care, Corporate Engineering, Oral Care, Family Care and Grooming. In addition to her engineering role, Karan is also the P&G director of Campus Recruiting at Tuskegee University, where she also serves as the leader of the Tuskegee University Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Board. Karan has positioned Tuskegee to be the top producer of African Ancestry talent for the P&G company, where the majority of the executive level African Ancestry managers are also graduates of Tuskegee University. Karan is the top ranking person of African Ancestry in the Global Procter and Gamble Engineering Organization and first woman and person of African Ancestry to be promoted to vice president in the Global Grooming Business Unit.

Karan is currently active on the Red Cross Board, Boston University Board of Engineering and Massachusetts Industrial Round Table Board. She has recently been recognized as the 2021 AALN Living Legend and the 2022 Girls Scout Leading Women Award recipient. Having lived in the US, China and Brazil, Karan is a champion for diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to inspire and develop talent that delivers the perceived impossible.