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Karen M. Dahut Named 2023 Commencement Speaker

Donna Klinger

Karen Dahut

Mount St. Mary’s University will welcome Karen Mataldi Dahut, C’85, CEO of Google Public Sector and an experienced public board director, as the speaker for the 215th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 13. Dahut will be honored with a doctorate of humane letters in recognition of her service to the university and the national and global communities.

Known as a forward-thinking and innovative business leader, Dahut in 2022 became the first CEO of Google Public Sector, a new Google subsidiary dedicated to helping U.S. federal, state and local governments, as well as education institutions, accelerate their digital transformations. The subsidiary works with agencies and institutions to better serve citizens and achieve their missions using Google technologies. Dahut is a celebrated and recognized public speaker and author on topics ranging from next-generation technology solutions to cybersecurity and from innovation to diversity.

“Karen Dahut’s personal story of rising through the ranks based on her leadership skills – in industries in which women are underrepresented – will inspire all our graduates,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “As a leader at the highest level in global business as well as in service as a trustee to not-for-profit and public-private organizations, she is a shining example of someone who leads a life of significance.”

"I am humbled by the honor to speak at graduation. The education given to me by Mount St. Mary’s University unlocked a passion for learning and commitment to service that took me from the Navy to the halls of corporate leadership," Dahut said. "Most importantly, the university pressed upon me the importance of ethical leadership; namely, if given the opportunity to have an impact, to use that to serve others."

Prior to joining Google, Dahut was sector president of the Global Defense and Commercial Group at Booz Allen Hamilton, directing the strategy and operation of the firm’s strategic, technology, cyber and analytics solutions to Fortune 100 commercial clients. This $4 billion sector with 13,000 personnel represented half of the firm’s annual revenue.

Earlier in her career at Booz Allen, as a C-suite executive, Dahut served as the firm’s chief innovation officer. In that role, she imagined, built and led a $500 million, 2,000-person Strategic Innovation Group (SIG) that transformed client enterprises and created new growth streams for the firm. She also led Booz Allen’s 5,500-person Analytics business, developing and delivering world-class big data and artificial intelligence solutions for clients in the commercial and public sectors.

After graduating from the Mount in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Dahut served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, where she was the controller for the Navy’s premier biomedical research institute. She also earned a Master of Science degree from the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California.

In 2020, Dahut was elected to the board of Dexcom, the global leader in real-time continuous glucose monitoring. She also is a trustee of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

In a Fall 2012 Mount Magazine article recognizing 40 women of the Mount on the 40th anniversary of the admission of women to the university as residential students, Dahut credited the Mount with making the values that her parents instilled in her—respect and trust and honor –a much more vital part of who she was then and who she is today. She received the university’s Simon Bruté Medal in 2021. The medal is bestowed on alumni who have distinguished themselves through their careers, commitment to their community and the Mount and service to their fellow citizens.

Donna Klinger