David J. Skorton
David J. Skorton became Cornell University's 12th president on July 1, 2006. He holds faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering on Cornell's Ithaca campus. He is also past chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum, an independent, nonprofit organization of industry CEOs, leaders of colleges and universities, and foundation executives; life member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a former member of the board of directors of the Association of American Medical Colleges. A Master of the American College of Cardiology, he has also been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A seasoned administrator, board-certified cardiologist, biomedical researcher, musician, and advocate for the arts and humanities, President Skorton aims to make Cornell a model combination of academic distinction and public service.
Reflecting his personal commitment to diversity, President Skorton established and co-chairs, with Cornell Provost W. Kent Fuchs, the University Diversity Council. He serves as a house fellow at the Carl Becker House, one of the West Campus residential houses for continuing students. He also writes bi-monthly columns for the Cornell Daily Sun and the Cornell Alumni Magazine.
Before coming to Cornell, President Skorton was president of the University of Iowa (UI) for three years (2003-2006) and a faculty member at UI for 26 years. Co-founder and co-director of the UI Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, President Skorton has focused his research on congenital heart disease in adolescents and adults, cardiac imaging, and image processing. He has published numerous articles, reviews, book chapters, and two major texts in the areas of cardiac imaging and image processing.
A national leader in research ethics, President Skorton was the charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first entity organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs. He has served on the boards and committees of many other national organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Association of American Universities, Council on Competitiveness, and Korea America Friendship Society.
President Skorton has long been active in regional and state economic development. During 2009 he chaired a gubernatorial Task Force on Diversifying the New York State Economy through Industry-Higher Education Partnerships. At the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo, he co-chaired the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council in 2011–12.
President Skorton earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1970 and an M.D. in 1974, both from Northwestern University. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.