Victoria Reggie Kennedy

2012 Commencement Speaker

An attorney with nearly two decades of practice in the private sector, Victoria Reggie Kennedy distinguished herself in a legal career that emphasized work on the federal and state regulation of domestic financial institutions.

Known for her key strategic and political roles on health and education issues, especially as those issues affect women and children, Kennedy was actively involved in the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and continues to speak nationally about the law.

A former member of the Board of Directors of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Kennedy is the founding president of Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a not-for-profit coalition of gun control advocates, health professionals, and gun manufacturers who work together to reduce gun-related deaths and injuries to children in the United States.

She is the wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy and is co-founder and president of the Board of Trustees of the Boston-based Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, which was established to promote public discourse, encourage political participation, inspire a new generation of leaders, and educate visitors from around the world about the US Senate’s role in American government.

Kennedy received a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Newcomb College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and several other honor societies, and received a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law.

She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor and Mentor at the University of Massachusetts, and on a number of boards, including those of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

View video of speech.