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President and CEO Washington, DC

David J. Skorton, MD, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has been selected as the next president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, effective July 15, 2019.

A board-certified cardiologist, president emeritus of Cornell University, past president of the University of Iowa, and member of the National Academy of Medicine, Skorton leads the world’s largest museum, research, and education complex.  His selection is a bold choice by the AAMC, aligning his unique set of experience with the mission and aspirations of one of the nation’s most influential voices in healthcare.  

Said Skorton, “Healthcare in this country faces a number of seemingly intractable problems, and the AAMC — rich with data and intellectual heft through the combination of medical colleges, teaching hospitals, and academic societies — can and should be a leading influence in shaping the future of healthcare.”

In his tenure at the Smithsonian, he completed a strategic plan with the goal of reaching 1 billion people annually by 2022 through a “digital first” strategy. Skorton also initiated a plan to serve the local Washington, DC, K-12 school system through curricula based on the use of the Smithsonian’s national collections and education expertise.  At Cornell he completed a $6 billion philanthropic campaign and won then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Applied Sciences NYC competition, partnering with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to establish Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

Throughout his career, Skorton has focused on diversity, inclusion, and underserved populations. At Cornell, he dramatically increased student financial aid while guiding the university through the early years of the Great Recession. At the Smithsonian, he initiated an approach to augmenting diversity and improving the workplace climate through senior leadership accountability.

Philip Jaeger, Ariannah Mirick, and John Isaacson led the search.  

Read the full press release here.


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