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'Infinite Possibility'

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Global health leader Dr. Jim Yong Kim is the College’s next president

“As I embark on this exciting journey, I’m humbled by the example set by those who’ve gone before me,” Dr. Jim Yong Kim told the audience of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who gathered on March 2. They filled Spaulding Auditorium, watched video from Collis Center and Cook Auditorium, followed the live webcast, and tuned in to DarTV, eager to meet the man who will become the College’s 17th president.

Dr. Jim KimDr. Jim Yong Kim receives congratulations from President James Wright, Trustee Ed Haldeman ’70, and Trustee Al Mulley ’70 at the March 2 announcement of his appointment. “I want to bring a sense of infinite possibility to Dartmouth students,” says Kim. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

President James Wright, Ed Haldeman ’70, chair of the Board of Trustees, and Trustee Al Mulley ’70, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, all spoke at the announcement event. Click here for full remarks.


889 people watched the announcement live in Spaulding Auditorium (674) and via video in Collis Center (180) and Cook Auditorium (35)

12,169 hits on the live video webcast

4 standing ovations (2 for Dr. Kim; 1 for President James Wright, Board Chair Ed Haldeman ’70, and Search Committee Chair Al Mulley ’70; 1 for President Wright and Susan DeBevoise Wright)

7 inches of snowfall on March 2 in Boston, as Dr. Kim made the round-trip journey from his home in Boston for the event

31,377 views of Dr. Kim’s videos on Dartmouth’s YouTube channel

30,419 visitors at

350 messages sent to Dr. Kim via the President-elect website. Click here to send yours. He intends to read all messages personally.

Web statistics as of March 9, 2009

Kim is “an extraordinary man, who has taken an unusual path to us today—but one who shares deeply the values Dartmouth holds dear,” Haldeman said. “Both the Search Committee and the Board were deeply impressed with the next president’s ideals of learning, innovation, and service, and the impact these have had on students, faculty, health professionals, and communities across the globe.”

Kim is chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In his remarks, Kim recalled the legacy of the College’s 12th president, John Sloan Dickey, who “believed passionately in the power of education to foster positive change.” Dickey, Kim continued, “was fond of telling students ‘the world’s troubles are your troubles.’ And he believed that a Dartmouth education should equip young people to do something about those troubles. I believe that remains Dartmouth’s most important mission today.”

“If we teach nothing else at Dartmouth,” Kim said, “we must teach our students to find their passion, to aim high, work hard, and settle for nothing less than to transform the world. … My job will be to make sure that Dartmouth gives you, our students, all the tools you need to do unprecedented things—whether in science or the arts or business or health—things that even today seem unimaginable.”

Of President James Wright, Kim said, “You leave enormous shoes to fill. Your tenure has enriched academic life at Dartmouth ... You and Susan created a warm and inviting atmosphere for all ... My wife Younsook and I will do our best to continue to nurture this wonderful environment.”

Kim trained as both a physician and an anthropologist, receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. A former senior official at the World Health Organization and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Partners In Health, he is internationally acknowledged for his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases. Kim received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2003.

He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston. They have two children—Thomas, age eight, and Nicholas Jin, who was born on Feb. 27, 2009, just three days before Kim’s introduction to Dartmouth. “It’s been quite a week!” remarked Kim.

Concluding his remarks, Kim said, “I can’t wait to get started. It is, as we all know, a small college. And yet the Kim family already loves it.”


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 3/15/09