CEO of the Obama Foundation, you are committed to inspiring and empowering the next generation of civic leaders to create positive change in their communities and around the world. This does not surprise the Stonehill community, who knew you—a first-generation Portuguese-American and son of immigrants—as a highly engaged student during your time here. And in becoming an attorney, you embraced the College’s mission of moral and intellectual devotion to social justice while never losing sight of your roots or the privilege of a high-quality education.
Those values have guided your career, from your appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to joining the Obama administration, first as Deputy Assistant to the President, then as Director of Opinion Research and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach.
As you endeavor today to lead the Obama Foundation with the goal of ensuring every innovator, young leader, and everyday citizen has access to the tools they need to make an impact—you continue to put the collective pursuit of social justice at the center of your life and career.
While situated at the highest levels of government and philanthropy, you have maintained close ties with your college community, meeting with Stonehill students whenever they visited Capitol Hill on class or internship projects, returning to campus for speaking engagements focused on leadership and public policy issues, and meeting with prospective students and their families at Skyhawk Welcome Day.
With deep respect for your leadership by example and your commitment to public service, we are proud to bestow upon you, David Simas, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.