2022 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker


William C. Bell, PhD

William C. Bell is president and chief executive officer of Casey Family Programs, where he chairs the executive team and is ultimately responsible for the vision, mission, strategies, and objectives of the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care in the United States.

Bell has nearly 40 years’ experience in the human services field, mainly focused on child welfare, and he has served on numerous boards focused on Black achievement, violence reduction, and equitable opportunity. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Delta State University, Hunter College, and City University of New York.

A native Mississippian, Bell was recognized in 2017 by his home state for his life of service to the nation’s children and families. His many awards and honors include the Vincent de Francis Award from the American Humane Association for his vision and commitment to improving child welfare systems on a national level; the Lifetime of Service Award from City Year Seattle/King County; and the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers Foundation for his contribution to advancing public awareness and recognizing the value of professional social work.