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President Amy Gutmann: Chair of Barack Obama’s Bioethics Commission
December 8, 2009, Volume 56, No. 14


Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected by President Barack Obama to chair the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. As head of the commission, Dr. Gutmann, president of Penn since 2004 and a prominent political scientist, will advise the President on a range of bioethical issues.

The President’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. The commission will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices to ensure that scientific research, health-care delivery and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.

As Penn’s president, Dr. Gutmann has been a forceful advocate for access to higher education, for dismantling the boundaries among academic disciplines and for increasing student and faculty engagement with communities, both domestically and across the globe.

Dr. James W. Wagner, president of Emory University, was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

President Obama said, “As our nation invests in science and innovation and pursues advances in biomedical research and health care, it’s imperative that we do so in a responsible manner.  This new Commission will develop its recommendations through practical and policy-related analyses.  I am confident that Amy and Jim will use their decades of experience in both ethics and science to guide the new Commission in this work, and I look forward to listening to their recommendations in the coming months and years.”


Almanac - December 8, 2009, Volume 56, No. 14