Office of Public Affairs

David Shaw to Present USM Commencement Address

David E. Shaw has been named commencement speaker at the University of Southern Maine’s 134th ceremony, taking place on Saturday, May 10, at the Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland. Commencement will begin at 9 a.m., with doors opening at 7 a.m. More than 900 graduates are expected to march.

David Shaw’s career has encompassed entrepreneurial business leadership, public service, and strategy consulting and investment management.  After an early career in Maine state government and management consulting, Shaw founded IDEXX Laboratories in 1983 and served as its CEO until 2002.

He has subsequently been a director and/or founding investor of more than a dozen public and private companies in healthcare, energy, technology and e-commerce.  He is a co-founder and director of Vet’s First Choice in Portland and served as founding executive chairman of Ikaria Holdings, a leading critical care pharmaceutical company.  He served as a partner with Venrock Associates and is currently managing partner of Black Point Group. Recognition of his work includes the induction of IDEXX Laboratories into the Life Sciences Foundation’s Biotech Hall of Fame in 2008.

Shaw has served as chair of The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, as a Senior Fellow with Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and on the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership.  He is the founding chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, and in September 2013, Shaw and the executive committee of the SSA were named “2013 International SeaKeepers of the Year.”

Shaw currently serves as treasurer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a presidential appointee to the National Park Foundation.  Other public service affiliations have included Maine Medical Center, Science China, Hurricane Island Outward Bound, and the U.S. – Israel Science and Technology Committee.

Shaw received his B.A. in literature and political science from the University of New Hampshire in 1973 and his M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine in 1976. Shaw was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Colby College in 2012, and the Leslie Cheek Medal at the College of William and Mary.  He has lectured internationally on leadership topics, explored some of the world’s great mountain and seascapes, and produced more than 20 short films.