Mount Alumna to Give Commencement Address

NEWBURGH – Dr. Jason N. Adsit, President of Mount Saint Mary College, is proud to announce that alumna Karina Cabrera Bell ’01, a Fortune 500 executive and former official in the Obama White House, will deliver the keynote address at the Mount’s 59th annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21.

The college will recognize hundreds of bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates during the ceremony.

Cabrera Bell currently serves as Senior Manager of Strategy, Consulting, and Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality (ID&E) Practice at Accenture, a multinational professional services company that specializes in information technology services and consulting.

Cabrera Bell had originally been named keynote speaker for the college’s 2020 Commencement, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the celebration online. With Mount officials planning to return the ceremony to nearly its pre-pandemic state this year, Cabrera Bell is overjoyed to celebrate the Class of 2022 and join her alma mater’s most meaningful event of the year.

“I feel so many wonderful emotions to be returning to the Mount as the Commencement speaker: pride, honor and gratitude,” Cabrera Bell said. “The Mount helped me find my voice. I started as an orientation leader and left as Senior Class President. These experiences gave me the confidence I needed to thrive in my career, starting in public service and now in corporate America.”

Cabrera Bell is a leader in Accenture’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Practice. She advises Fortune 500 clients across industries on their journey towards inclusive cultures. In this role, she provides strategic direction and thoughtful leadership, and champions the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity practice into all aspects of the business.

In addition to her client work, Cabrera Bell has a passion for coaching and mentoring. She serves as a member of the leadership team within Accenture’s National Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG) and leads Accenture’s Northern California Women’s ERG.

Before moving to the private sector, Cabrera Bell served in all levels of government in her 15-year career in public service. At the Obama White House, she was director of Congressional Affairs, forging partnerships with Congress and national advocacy groups to recruit top talent. Prior to this, she worked as a senior advisor to U.S. Senator for New York Kirsten Gillibrand, where she led legislative initiatives for women and families.

Cabrera Bell proudly serves on the national board of Girls Leadership and has been featured in media outlets including Forbes and The New York Times. She is also a frequent speaker on topics of inclusive leadership, equitable practices, and women’s leadership. An inspirational activist and speaker, she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her community work, including the New York State Assembly Leadership Award and the Woman of Distinction Award from El Diario La Prensa, New York’s largest Spanish-language newspaper.

For students graduating from the Mount, Cabrera Bell has some simple, poignant advice: embrace the journey.

“Your definition of success will change,” she said. “Your interests will change. And that is part of the career journey. Success isn’t a straight line, but more like a windy road. However, through each twist and turn, you have a great opportunity to learn more about who you are and the impact you want to have in this world.”

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