Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, executive director of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), will give the keynote address at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry commencement ceremony May 10.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. at Memorial Hall on the University campus. In a new addition to the ceremony format, faculty members will be seated on the stage during the ceremony.
Valachovic leads the only national association representing the academic dental community, which includes all dental schools nationwide and Canada, along with dental research institutions, allied dental schools and programs, hospital-based dental departments and individuals within these institutions.
“We are privileged to welcome Dr. Valachovic to the University,” said Dean John N. Williams. “His leadership has resulted in many innovations within dental education, specifically as this education is directed ultimately toward advancing oral health. Our School of Dentistry graduates will be inspired both by his distinguished career and his perspective on dentistry.”
Valachovic also serves concurrently as the executive director of the International Federation of Dental Education Associations (IFDEA), which represents 11 associations of dental schools and educators throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Central America. He is president of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) and a member of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat.
Prior to becoming executive director of ADEA (then known as the American Association of Dental Schools) in 1996, Valachovic was at Harvard University. His roles included associate professor, associate dean for clinical affairs, associate dean for government and community relations and director of postdoctoral education at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He had previously been on the medical staffs of major teaching hospitals in Boston and Farmington, Conn. Valachovic was chief of the Dental Service at the Harvard University Health Services and was an active investigator in the Health of the City Project in Cambridge, Mass. He also directed the Harvard University Group Health Plan’s employee and student dental benefit plans.
His funded research has been directed toward clinical decision analysis and risk assessment. He is a principal author of more than 80 original manuscripts, book chapters and monographs. He has served on the boards of three foundations and a national museum.
Valachovic received his bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University, his D.M.D. degree from the University of Connecticut and his M.P.H. and Sc.M. (health policy and management) degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed postdoctoral education and residency training in dental public health and pediatric dentistry at Harvard and the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston and is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial radiologist.
The University’s commencement for May graduates will be held at 9:30 a.m. May 10 at Kenan Stadium.