Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

New Dartmouth Appointee is First Asian-American President in the Ivy League

June 6th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance

Dr. Jim Yong Kim


On March 2, 2009, Dartmouth College announced the selection of Dr. Jim Yong Kim to serve as the 17th president in the its 240-year history. Dr. Kim succeeds current president James Wright, who is stepping down this month. Dr. Kim is an accomplished scholar and humanitarian. This partial list of Kim’s awards achievement is from a press release issued by Dartmouth college:

He attended Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian and president of his class and played quarterback for the high school football team. Dr. Kim received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2003 and was named one of America’s 25 ”Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report in 2005. In 2006, he was selected as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In a profile for TIME, Tracy Kidder, who described Kim’s work in the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, wrote, “One of his students told me that Kim was his most inspirational instructor; he made you believe you could change the world. I have no idea what he’ll do next. But looking forward to it gives me hope.”

In 2004, Dr. Kim was appointed director of the HIV/AIDS department at the World Health Organization. The Dartmouth press release describes his long history of leadership in improving medical access for the developing world:

Dr. Kim has 20 years of experience in improving health in developing countries. He is a founding trustee and the former executive director of Partners In Health, a not-for-profit organization that supports a range of health programs in poor communities worldwide. In 2004, he was appointed director of the HIV/AIDS department at the World Health Organization, where he launched an initiative to dramatically expand access to HIV/AIDS treatment in low- and middle-income countries. By 2007, the initiative had helped to provide lifesaving antiretroviral therapy to approximately three million people worldwide and had accelerated global efforts to fight other diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.

Dr. Kim holds a B.A. from Brown University (magna cum laude) and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard. He was born in Seoul, Korea. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was five years old. He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston. He and his wife have two sons, ages 8 and 2.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in Asian American, Current Events, Dartmouth College, Higher Education, race

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