Dartmouth Names Harvard Medical School Official, Global Health Researcher Jim Yong Kim as Next President
Jim Yong Kim, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University and former head of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department, recently was named Dartmouth College's 17th president, the New York Times reports. Kim trained as both a physician and an anthropologist, receiving his MD and PhD from Harvard (Lewin, New York Times, 3/3). An expert in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, Kim has been "internationally renowned for his ground-breaking work delivering health care to developing countries," the Boston Globe reports. The Dartmouth Board of Trustees said that Kim is the ideal president because of his proven commitment to teaching and mentoring young people in the global health field. The board also praised his "record in heading international agencies," such as Partners in Health, and his "ability to prod countries for funding while overseeing the WHO's first major effort to promote AIDS treatment," the Globe reports (Jan, Boston Globe, 3/2).
Kim with physician Paul Farmer co-founded Partners in Health, which initially focused on drug-resistant tuberculosis in Haiti and later expanded to other countries. The group also worked to make medication more widely accessible and affordable (New York Times, 3/3). Albert Mulley, associate professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School and chair of the presidential search committee, said the committee was impressed with Kim's record of fundraising for global health initiatives. According to the Globe, Kim was the "driving force behind a new urgency in AIDS treatment, increasing treatment in Africa eight-fold within two years" while at WHO. Farmer said that Kim will "galvanize the movement for health equity" as Dartmouth's president, adding that Kim will "seize the imaginations of young Americans and help build this wonderful movement around global poverty issues."
Kim said that as Dartmouth president, he hopes to improve "the way we deliver our most-cherished social goals" -- health care and education -- while keeping a balance between providing students with training for jobs and a broad education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. He added that he would also like to direct resources from Dartmouth's medical, business and engineering schools toward global health delivery on a wider scale (Boston Globe, 3/2).
Kim said, "At some point, you have to decide whether you're going to keep throwing your body at a problem, which is what I've always done." He added, "You realize that one person can't do that much. So what I want to do is train an army of leaders to engage with the problems of the world, who will believe the possibilities are limitless, that there's nothing they can't do. Being the president of an Ivy League university is an amazing opportunity." Kim will take on the position in July (New York Times, 3/3).