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Haas School of Business Honors Distinguished Professor

The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley recently graduated 69 students from its Executive MBA program.

Held at the school’s Zellerbach Hall, the ceremony was attended by about 450 people, and was presided over by Dean Rich Lyons. Maura O’Neill (MBA, ’04), Distinguished Teaching Fellow, received the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor O’Neill taught New Venture Finance and Advanced New Venture Finance to the members of the graduating class. In addition to guiding various companies toward increased profitability, she has started four companies of her own and is highly regarded as one of her generation’s most successful entrepreneurial innovators.

O’Neill served as President Obama’s Chief Innovation Officer in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  While in this position, she co-led USAID Forward, which was a global initiative to reform the way that assistance is provided to foreign countries. Using breakthrough adaptations of venture capital and drug discovery methods, O’Neill initiated sustainable solutions to problems of economic growth, food security, healthcare, and governance.

Assistant dean and executive director of the EMBA program, Mike Rielly, said of O’Neill, “Maura brings a special blend of academic theory and real-world credibility, teaches from a place of encouragement and empowerment, and has been so incredibly helpful to our students on matters ranging from personal and professional advice to negotiating new venture terms…We are lucky to have her at Berkeley-Haas and teaching so regularly in the EMBA program.”

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Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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