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Miyamoto to be 2020 Penn Nursing Commencement Speaker

Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Nursing, will be the 2020 Penn Nursing commencement speaker. The ceremony, which will be virtual due to the coronavirus, will take place on Monday, May 18th at 3pm. Details about the virtual event, including a link to the livestream, can be found at

“Penn Nursing will never let a global pandemic get in the way of celebrating our graduates—resilience and innovative thinking are traits that nurses are well known for, and this commencement will showcase our strengths,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel. “And in a year like this, when the role of nurses in global health and health care has been thrust to the forefront in unprecedented ways, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Miyamoto as our commencement speaker—she has been a true leader in health policy, a great advocate for nurses everywhere, and a champion for innovation.”

Dr. Miyamoto is highly regarded for her expertise in health care and education policy as well as her leadership and successful development of advocacy-based coalitions. Prior to her position at the Academy, Miyamoto served as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Chief Policy Officer. Starting at AACN in 2006, Miyamoto supported the membership as a policy analyst, advocate, and strategist at the federal level. She simultaneously led the Nursing Community Coalition— the largest national nursing coalition focused on inserting the voice of the profession in health policy discussions— from 2008-2018. During this time, Miyamoto worked on such critical legislation as the Higher Education Reauthorization Act in 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and most recently the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act in 2018.

Currently, Miyamoto is an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, School of Nursing and Health Studies and the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. She has held prior academic positions at the Schools of Nursing for the University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, George Washington University, Marymount University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Previously, she held roles at the state and federal level with the National Institutes of Health, the State Commission on Patient Safety for the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition, and Capitol Hill. Miyamoto’s areas of research, publications, and presentations focus on health policy, coalition building, and political advocacy.

Miyamoto received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Women in Government Relations, Academy Health, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, and the American Nurses Association. Miyamoto is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, an Honorary Friend of the National Institute of Nursing Research, and a 2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow.