Ismael Ahmed, director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, and Nancy Schlichting, president and CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, will speak at UM-Dearborn’s commencement ceremonies on Sunday, April 27

April 4, 2008



DEARBORN / April 7, 2008---Ismael Ahmed, director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, and Nancy Schlichting, president and CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, will be the main speakers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s commencement ceremonies on Sunday, April 27.

Ahmed will speak at the afternoon ceremony, beginning at 2:30 p.m., for graduates of the campus’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and School of Education. Schlichting will speak at the morning ceremony, beginning at 10:30 a.m., for graduates of the campus’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Management.

“These two speakers have set an outstanding example with their leadership and commitment to serving the people of the metropolitan region,” according to Chancellor Daniel Little. “We know that their insights will add a great deal of meaning to this celebration for our graduates and their families.”

Ahmed, who received his bachelor’s degree from UM-Dearborn in 1975, was appointed by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm as director of the Department of Human Services in September 2007. In that position, Ahmed leads the state's second largest agency with nearly 10,000 employees and a $4 billion-plus annual budget.

Ahmed was one of the founders of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in the early 1970s, and was appointed the organization’s executive director in 1983. ACCESS is the largest Arab-American human services organization in the United States offering more than 90 different programs.

In recent years, Ahmed has been a guest speaker at the foreign ministers meeting of the League of Arab States speaking on U.S. and Arab relations. He has served on a number of governing boards for southeastern Michigan organizations, including Eastern Michigan University, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and New Detroit. He also has been a member of the UM-Dearborn Citizens Advisory Committee.

Ahmed is a contributing author to Arabs in America: Myths and Reality and has written for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Publication, "Arab American Political Participation in the United States."

Before assuming the leadership of the Henry Ford Health System, Schlichting served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the system and was responsible for its hospitals, community care services, hospital joint ventures, physician practice development, and integrated support services.

Schlichting serves on numerous community, professional and corporate boards including the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Greater Detroit Area Health Council, City Year, C.A.T.C.H., Fifth Third Bank of Eastern Michigan, Mayor’s Time, and Gilda’s Club.

Schlichting earned her bachelor’s degree in public policy studies from Duke University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University. She is a past president of the Sloan Alumni Association at Cornell University, has served on the Cornell Council, and has served as a preceptor and lecturer for graduate programs in health care administration for Ohio State, Xavier, Duke, Cornell, University of Michigan, and the Medical College of Virginia.

She has given numerous presentations at local, national, and international meetings and was recognized as a 1991 "Up and Comer" by Modern Healthcare, and as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Detroit” by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2002.


 The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers’ views.




CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: 313-593-5518
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