List of Northeastern University Notable Alumni

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If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation from successful people, one great place to start is with a list of notable alumni from Northeastern University. Northeastern has produced a wide range of accomplished individuals across many industries, including business, entertainment, politics, and more. From actors and athletes to CEOs and government officials, the impressive list of Northeastern University notable alumni is sure to inspire and impress. There’s a co-founder of Twitter on the list.

Northeastern University Notable Alumni

So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable graduates of Northeastern University, and learn about their achievements and contributions to their respective fields.

Northeastern University Notable Alumni Worth Learning From

In no particular order, these are some of Northeastern University notable alumni that have gone on to dominate in their respective career fields after graduating from Northeastern.

1. Maggie Hassan

Maggie Hassan

If you are from New Hampshire you’d know Margaret Coldwell Wood Hassan. She is a politician and attorney serving as the junior United States senator from New Hampshire a position she has occupied since 2017. What’s most notable about Maggie’s political career is that she was the 81st governor of New Hampshire from 2013 to 2017.

Maggie earned a J.D from the Northeastern University School of Law and is the second woman in American history to be elected both governor and senator of the United States. In 2013, NEU awarded her with an honorary doctorate degree and she continues to be a trailblazer for women in politics.

2. J.J. Barea

J.J. Barea

Jose Juan Barea Mora is a Puerto Rican former NBA pro. During his college days at NEU, Barea played for the school’s basketball team. After graduating from Northeastern, Barea signed for Dallas Mavericks in 2006 to become the seventh Puerto Rican to play in the NBA. In 2011, Barea won the NBA championship with the Mavericks. He played for three more seasons and today Barea is a player development coach with Dallas Mavericks.

Barea has won several awards throughout his illustrious career as an NBA pro including 2x Centrobasket MVP (2008 and 2016), FIBA Basketball World Cup Top Scorer in 2014, CAA Player of the Year in 2006, First-team All-CAA in 2006, 2x First-team All-AEC (2004 and 2005), to mention but a few. He was part of the Peurto Rican basketball national team that won the gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 Central American and Caribbean games. Barea was also the starting point guard for his country when they won the gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games and the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.

He is quite an influential basketball player and all of that was refined when he attended NEU. So if you are a basketball enthusiast, you can be sure NEU has the provision to set you up for a magnificent career. For more details on J.J. Barea’s professional career, visit https://www.nba.com/player/200826.

3. Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Jr.

Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.

Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. was an American political activist who founded the LaRouche movement. He made progress in politics although he never achieved the pinnacle of US politics – becoming president. Many times, he came close to becoming the president of the United States but for one reason or the other, he couldn’t get past the primaries. LaRouche was a prominent conspiracy theorist and commonly regarded as the godfather of political paranoia.

Even after his death, the LaRouche movement is still garnering followers.

4. Beverly Ann Johnson

Beverly Johnson

History will remember Beverly Johnson as the first black woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue. In August 1974, Beverly became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine after Donyale Luna appeared in British Vogue in 1966 to be the first black woman to do so. Beverly studied criminal justice at Northeastern and it was during this time that she started modeling. Her first modeling gig was for Glamor before she went on to appear in Vogue and over 500 magazines in the United States.

Aside from modeling, Beverly Johnson has been featured in tens of movies and TV shows including Deadly Hero, The Baron, The Sky is Gray, Crossworlds, A Brilliant Disguise, Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder, Law & Order, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Beverly’s Full House, among others. I am not certain but I a minor in Film Studies from NEU gave Beverly the needed boost.

5. Terry Carter

Terry Carter

John Everett DeCoste, now known as Terry Carter, is another Northeastern University notable alumni. Terry Carter is known for his roles as Sgt. Joe Broadhurst on McCloud and as Colonel Tigh on Battlestar Galactica.

Carter accumulated extensive experience in theater, performing in a number of productions both on and off Broadway. Among his notable Broadway performances were his lead role alongside Eartha Kitt in the play Mrs. Patterson, as well as his portrayal of the title character in the grandiose musical Kwamina.

Between 1965 and 1968, Carter was employed as a weekend newscaster at WBZ-TV in Boston, where he eventually became an anchor-reporter. Some sources have referred to him as the first black TV newsman in the world. During his three-year tenure, he also became the first black opening-night movie and theater critic in New England’s television history. Though Carter claimed he was fired due to Westinghouse’s opposition to his personal involvement in numerous community projects, WBZ stated that he resigned from the station. His departure resulted in Boston being without any black TV news reporters.

6. Patrice Lumumba Malcolm O’Neal

Patrice O'Neal

Patrice Lumumba Malcolm O’Neal, an esteemed American comedian and actor, was renowned for his illustrious career in stand-up comedy and regular appearances as a guest on the talk show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and the radio show Opie and Anthony.

Mr. O’Neal’s journey in stand-up comedy began in 1992 when he crafted an act founded on interactive discussions with the audience, an analytical approach, and occasionally provocative perspectives. Notably, from 2006 to 2008, he hosted The Black Phillip Show on XM Satellite Radio, which received widespread acclaim. His only stand-up comedy special, Elephant in the Room, was released nine months before his untimely demise at 41 years old from a stroke resulting from type 2 diabetes.

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7. Wendy Williams Hunter

Wendy Williams

Another notable alumnus of Northeastern University is Wendy Williams Hunter also known as Wendy Joan Williams. She is an American broadcaster, media personality, and writer. Between 2008 and 2022, she was the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.

Before making her name on television, Williams had a prosperous career as a radio DJ and host, swiftly earning a reputation as a shock jockette throughout New York. Her on-air confrontations with celebrities garnered her notoriety, which led to her starring in the 2006 VH1 reality television series, The Wendy Williams Experience, which featured events related to her radio show.

In addition to her television and radio ventures, Williams has also authored multiple books, made several appearances in films and television shows, toured with her comedy show, and launched various product lines, including a fashion line, a jewelry collection, and a wig line. Her illustrious career in radio earned her a place in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009, and on her 50th birthday, the Asbury Park, New Jersey council renamed the street she grew up on to Wendy Williams Way as an honor to her accomplishments.

8. Shawn Fanning

Shawn Fanning

Shawn Fanning is a computer programmer, angel investor, and entrepreneur. Although he is a drop-out from Northeastern University (that may not sound well but then he’s still one of Northeastern University notable alumni to be proud of), he is famous for Napster, one of the world’s first peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file sharing platforms. Napster was an instant success as it got Shawn Fanning featured in Time Magazine.

In 2002, Fanning was featured in the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. He went on to establish companies like Snocap, Rupture, and Path while investing in hundreds of others.

9. Biz Stone

Northeastern University notable aliumni - Biz Stone

Christopher Isaac “Biz” Stone is the co-founder of Twitter and other technology companies. He was the creative director at Xanga from 1999 to 2001 and in 2014, he co-founded Jelly, a visual imagery and discovery search engine, serving as CEO until its acquisition by Pinterest in 2017.

After returning to Twitter in 2017, Stone has been an active angel investor and advisor in the startup community, backing companies such as Square, Slack, Medium, Nest, Beyond Meat, Pinterest, Intercom, and Faraday. He also serves on multiple boards, including Beyond Meat, Medium, Polaroid Swing, Workpop, and Jelly Industries, and made his directorial debut with the short film Evermore.

In addition, Stone advises Zoic Studios and is an Executive Producer of the documentary Eating Animals with Natalie Portman. He has received numerous accolades, including the International Center for Journalists Innovation Award, Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Decade, and recognition from Time and GQ. He has also been awarded the CIPR’s prestigious leadership accolade and an Innovation Award from The Economist.

Stone serves as a visiting fellow at Oxford University and holds honorary degrees from Babson College and a fellowship at Oxford. He is also an Executive Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

10. Carlos Felipe Peña

Carlos Pena

Carlos Felipe Peña is a former professional baseball first baseman. He is from the Dominican Republic and his family moved to the United States when he was 12. While at Northeastern University, Peña pursued his passion for both electrical engineering and baseball. He played for the Harwich Mariners in 1996 and the Wareham Gatemen in 1997, showcasing his skills as a top amateur prospect in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL).

His outstanding performance earned him the CCBL league MVP title in 1997 and a place in the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2003. Peña also led the Northeastern Huskies to the NCAA tournament during his time there, and he finished his collegiate baseball career with an impressive batting average of .324 and 24 home runs over two seasons.

11. Nikesh Arora

 

Nikesh Arora, an Indian-American business magnate, has left his mark on the tech industry with his impressive career trajectory. He is widely recognized for his tenure as the president of SoftBank Group and for his time spent as a senior executive at Google. In June 2018, Arora added another feather to his cap by assuming the role of CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks.

With an MBA from Northeastern University under his belt, Arora has held key positions at major companies like T-Mobile, Bharti Airtel, and Europe. He also serves as a Trustee at the esteemed Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, he has been a senior advisor to private equity firm Silver Lake Partners since 2007.

Arora’s impressive career journey began in 1992 when he landed his first job at Fidelity Investments. Over the years, he worked his way up the ladder, holding a variety of finance and technology management positions until he was ultimately appointed vice president, finance of Fidelity Technologies. Nikesh Arora’s career is nothing short of remarkable, having held leadership roles in various high-profile companies throughout his professional journey.

12. Jane Therese Curtin

Jane Therese Curtin is an acclaimed American actress and comedian who first captured our hearts with her memorable performances on the groundbreaking TV series, Saturday Night Live. After earning rave reviews for her portrayal of the hilarious Allison “Allie” Lowell on the hit ’80s sitcom Kate & Allie, she continued to shine in her role as Dr. Mary Albright on the beloved series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Curtin’s talent has also been on full display in numerous movies, including the popular The Librarian series, and she even reprised one of her iconic Saturday Night Live characters in the cult classic Coneheads. With her deadpan wit and razor-sharp humor, it’s no wonder she’s been dubbed the “Queen of Deadpan” and lauded as a “refreshing drop of acid” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Beyond her impressive acting career, Curtin is also a dedicated humanitarian who has served as a U.S. Committee National Ambassador for UNICEF. She’s a true trailblazer in the entertainment industry, having pursued comedy as a career back in 1968 when it was still a male-dominated field. She’s a true inspiration to all who strive to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.

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13. Hadassah Lieberman

Another notable alumnus of Northeastern University is Hadassah Lieberman. In 1970, Lieberman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Dramatics from Boston University. The following year, she obtained an MA in International Relations from Northeastern University. With an impressive educational background, Lieberman’s career has spanned across various fields, including research analysis at Lehman Brothers, policy planning and communication directorship at Pfizer, and a senior program officer role at the National Research Council.

Lieberman’s work primarily focused on addressing health issues, empowering non-profit organizations, improving educational standards, and promoting international understanding. Her dedication to various national nonprofit councils and boards demonstrates her commitment to making a difference in society. Today, Lieberman continues to be a passionate advocate for women’s health, immigration reform, and elder care.

Beyond her impressive career achievements, Lieberman is a notable member of the Parents Music Resource Center and has served on the board of the PTC. Rolling Stone magazine has praised her active support of the V-Chip. Her work with lobbying company APCO Associates and several pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations paved the way for her senior counselor role at Hill & Knowlton in 2005, where she specialized in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Despite her outstanding reputation, Lieberman’s involvement with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has been met with controversy due to her connection to the pharmaceutical industry. Nevertheless, her legacy as an influential and dedicated leader remains indisputable.

14. James Franklin Jeffrey

James Franklin Jeffery earned a BA in History from NEU. He is an accomplished American diplomat with an impressive track record of serving at the highest levels of the U.S. government. With extensive experience both in Washington and abroad, he has held critical positions as United States Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, Deputy National Security Advisor, and United States Ambassador to Albania. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, he was appointed as Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Beyond his government service, Jeffrey is also a respected thought leader and scholar. He currently serves as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a member of the CIA External Advisory Board, a member of the American Council on Germany, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he provides expert analysis and commentary on a range of topics, including foreign policy, national security, and economic trends.

With his deep expertise and impressive credentials, James Franklin Jeffrey is a recognized authority on international affairs and a valuable asset to the American public.

15. Gregory Bruce Jarvis

Gregory Bruce Jarvis was a brilliant American engineer and astronaut whose life was tragically cut short during the devastating loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L. He was serving as a payload specialist for Hughes Aircraft at the time, a testament to his impressive career and expertise.

Jarvis’ academic accomplishments were just as impressive. He graduated from Mohawk Central High School, which was later renamed in his honor as the Gregory B. Jarvis High School and eventually became the Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967, followed by a Master of Science degree in the same discipline from Northeastern University in 1969.

Following his academic achievements, Jarvis joined the United States Air Force in 1969 and served until 1973, rising to the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged. He then began working for Hughes Aircraft, where he became a leading expert in his field and was selected for his important role on the Challenger mission.

Despite his untimely passing, Gregory Bruce Jarvis’ legacy lives on as a symbol of perseverance and dedication to the pursuit of scientific progress.

16. Jamie Oleksiak 

When it comes to ice hockey, Jamieson Oleksiak is a name that can’t be ignored. The Canadian defenseman, affectionately nicknamed “The Big Rig”, has made a name for himself as a standout player in the National Hockey League (NHL). But his journey to the top has been filled with challenges and hard work.

Oleksiak attended Northeastern University for one year, where he scored 4 goals and 9 assists and had a team-best +13 plus/minus. Despite his impressive performance, he decided to return to the Canadian Hockey League to further develop his skills. He signed with the Saginaw Spirit in 2011 before signing a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Dallas Stars later that year.

It was with the Niagara IceDogs, however, that Oleksiak really began to shine. He helped lead the team to title contention during the 2011-12 season with his impressive skills on the ice. Today, Oleksiak is showcasing those skills with the Seattle Kraken of the NHL, proving that his hard work and dedication have paid off.

17. Steven Daniel Langton

Steven Daniel Langton is a remarkable American bobsledder who has left his mark in the sports world. Langton attended Northeastern University, where he not only graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, but he was also a two-year team captain for the track and field team. After watching the 2006 Winter Olympics, Langton was inspired to try bobsled, and the rest is history.

Langton’s achievements are numerous and impressive. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, he won silver medals in both the two-man and four-man events, and at the 2012 FIBT World Championships, he won gold in both events. These victories marked the first time an American sled won gold in the two-man event at a world championship, and the first time the American team won both events at a single world championship.

Langton’s success does not stop there. He has also won four World Championships medals and an impressive 21 World Cup medals, including 11 gold, 7 silver, and 3 bronze. Langton’s achievements speak for themselves, and his talent and dedication have made him an inspiration to many. Additionally, during the 2010-11 season, Langton won the Inaugural World Push Championships held in Cesana Pariol, Italy.

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18. John Pastore

John Orlando Pastore was a trailblazing American lawyer and politician who achieved many historic firsts during his long and distinguished career. As a member of the Democratic Party, Pastore served as both a United States Senator from Rhode Island for 26 years and as the state’s 61st governor. Notably, he was the first Italian American to be elected to the Senate, a significant milestone in American political history.

Pastore’s achievements were the result of a tireless work ethic and a passion for learning. After graduating with honors from Classical High School, he began his career with a humble $15-a-week job as a claims adjuster for the Narragansett Electric Company. Undeterred, Pastore enrolled in an evening law course at Northeastern University, which he attended while working full-time. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1931, equivalent to a modern J.D. degree, and was admitted to the bar the following year.

John Orlando Pastore was a dedicated and pioneering figure in American politics and law, whose legacy continues to inspire future generations of leaders.

19. Raj Saini

Rajinder “Raj” Saini, the esteemed Indian-Canadian politician, has undoubtedly left his mark as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kitchener Centre in the House of Commons of Canada from 2015 to 2021. Saini’s political passion was ignited during his formative years in a Liberal household in Mississauga during the 1970s and 1980s.

His thirst for knowledge and eagerness to excel led him to pursue higher education at the University of Toronto, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Driven by his commitment to making a meaningful impact, Saini then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Northeastern University in Boston.

Before his successful stint as a Member of Parliament, Rajinder “Raj” Saini was a devoted pharmacist who took the leap to establish Greenbrook Pharmacy, a thriving local independent business in Kitchener. For over two decades, Saini has played a pivotal role in co-owning and operating this business, which has garnered immense love and support from the community.

Long before his rise to elected office, Saini was already actively involved in his community and the Liberal Party, serving as a past president and vice-president of the Kitchener Centre Federal Liberal Association. He is a proud Rotarian and has also served as a member of the Canadian International Council, Waterloo. Saini’s unwavering dedication to service and his community is a testament to his unshakable commitment to making a positive difference in people’s lives.

20. Florence Schelling

Florence Isabelle Schelling, a former Swiss ice hockey goaltender, has shattered glass ceilings by becoming the first woman in history to serve as the general manager of a professional men’s team, SC Bern, from 2020 to 2021. Schelling has played internationally with the Swiss women’s national ice hockey team in 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics.

In the 2012 CWHL Draft, she was selected by the Montreal Stars but instead chose to play with Brampton Thunder for the 2012-13 season. Schelling has broken barriers in the Swiss men’s National League B by playing with EHC Bülach in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, making her the first and only woman to ever play in the league.

Schelling’s extraordinary talent was recognized during her college career at Northeastern, where she was consistently named a starter. In her sophomore year (2009-10), Schelling was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. She achieved a remarkable 30-save shutout against Robert Morris on 10 October and made 28 saves on 29 shots against Bemidji State on 23 October.

Schelling earned back-to-back shutouts over Vermont on 30-31 October, recording a total of 42 saves over the weekend. In recognition of her excellent performance, she was named Bauer Goaltender of the Month on 3 November after posting a 6-1-1 record, a 0.74 GAA, and a .970 save percentage in October.

In addition, Schelling made 37 saves and stopped 11 of 13 shootout attempts at Providence on 8 November. She shut out Vermont for the third time on 25 November and made 30 stops against the University of New Hampshire on 29 November. With a 0.99 GAA and a 0.964 save percentage through December, Schelling led the nation, cementing her position as an exceptional athlete.

Conclusion 

As we come to the end of this post on Northeastern University’s notable alumni, one thing becomes clear: Northeastern has produced some of the most accomplished individuals across various fields. From successful business leaders to renowned athletes, from groundbreaking scientists to influential politicians, Northeastern has nurtured some of the most brilliant minds in the world.

The success of these alumni is a testament to the exceptional education and opportunities provided by Northeastern University. The university’s co-op program, which offers students the chance to gain real-world experience and make meaningful connections, has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping the trajectories of these successful individuals.

As Northeastern continues to innovate and evolve, it is exciting to think about the bright future of its students and alumni. With a focus on experiential learning, global experiences, and cutting-edge research, Northeastern is poised to produce even more influential leaders who will make a lasting impact on the world.

Northeastern University has a proud legacy of producing some of the most accomplished and successful individuals in various fields. Its alumni are an inspiration to current and future students, and their stories serve as a testament to the power of a Northeastern education.

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