Skip to main content

Vox of Dartmouth, the College's newspaper for faculty and staff, ceased publication in February 2010. For current Dartmouth news and events, see:

· Dartmouth Now
· Periodicals
· Events Calendar

Path to the Presidency

  • Save & Share:
  • Bookmark on
  • Submit to Digg!
  • Share on Facebook
  • Bookmark on Google
  • Post to MySpace
  • Share with Reddit
  • Share with StumbleUpon
  • Email & Print:
  • E-mail this
  • Print this

Dr. Jim Yong Kim is an internationally recognized physician and humanitarian and an accomplished educator and anthropologist. He brings to Dartmouth more than two decades of successful leadership experience at top U.S. and global institutions.

Experienced and Visionary Leader

Current Appointments

  • President-elect, Dartmouth College. Takes office July 1, 2009.
  • 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 
  • Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. KimAwarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship (2003) (Photo courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital)

US NewsNamed one of America's 25 best leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2005)

TimeNamed one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" (2006)

Mountains Beyond MountainsTracy Kidder's bestselling book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, chronicles the work of Farmer and Kim. It was the Class of 2009's first-year summer reading assignment.

Group photoCo-founded nonprofit organization Partners In Health (PIH) in 1987 with Dr. Paul Farmer. Current board member. 
PIH supports health programs in poor communities in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, and the United States. In the mid-1990s, Kim helped develop a treatment program for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Peru, the first large-scale treatment of this disease in a poor country. He succeeded in reducing the price of critical drugs by more than 90 percent. Similar treatment programs are now in place in more than 40 nations. (Pictured are Partners In Health co-founders Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl, and Paul Farmer in the late 1980s. Photo courtesy Jim Yong Kim)

Directed the HIV/AIDS department at the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004–05.
(Previously served as advisor to the WHO director-general.) Oversaw all of WHO’s work related to HIV/AIDS and led the “3 by 5” initiative, an unprecedented effort to treat 3 million additional AIDS patients by 2005.

"WHO’s byzantine bureaucracy was the antithesis of Partners In Health’s nimble, freewheeling atmosphere. Kim pushed technology on a culture that still got its news from TV. ‘I’m the hated guy who introduced Blackberries to WHO,’ Kim jokingly told [his students] …"
From “The Healer” in Brown Alumni Magazine, 2006

Passionate and Committed Educator

  • Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School
  • The François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health
More than 20 years teaching experience, including undergraduate and graduate courses in anthropology, social analysis, social medicine, and global health

"Education is not just about transferring knowledge—it is about learning how to be citizens of the world, how to work effectively with others as part of a team, and how to emerge from your studies with an enduring and robust philosophy of life."
Jim Yong Kim

Taught a popular undergraduate course at Harvard and plans to continue teaching undergraduates at Dartmouth

Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004

Author or co-author of articles for leading academic and scientific journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Science 

Contributed to books on topics ranging from the global impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to the inequality of medical access for the world’s poor

Dying for Growth



Biographical Information

Dr. Kim
Jim Yong Kim, his father Nhak Hee Kim, and brother Bill in South Korea, around 1961. (Photos courtesy of Jim Yong Kim)

Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1959. Moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. His father, Nhak Hee Kim, a dentist, also taught at the University of Iowa, where his mother, Oaksook Kim, received her Ph.D. in philosophy. His brother, Dr. Bill Hoon Kim, is a gastroenterologist in California. His sister, Heidi Jee Hei Kim, is a sociologist, opera singer, and high school administrator and teacher in Washington State.03)

US News
Kim’s senior year football photo for his high school yearbook.

Graduated from Muscatine High School. Was class president and valedictorian. Played basketball and quarterback on the football team.

Graduating from Harvard Medical School

B.A. from Brown University in 1982, magna cum laude
M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1991
Ph.D. from Harvard University, Department of Anthropology, in 1993
Active in sports including basketball, volleyball, tennis, and golf
Languages: English, Korean, Spanish


In response to the news of Kim’s appointment, his mother Oaksook told him, 

"You know there are very few times over the last 22 years since your father died when I’ve been mad at him. This was one of those times. How could he not be here to see you become president of Dartmouth College! He would have been so, so proud."



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

Last Updated: 4/9/09