by Jasmine Batchelor
January 28, 2020
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Association of American Medical Colleges
David J. Skorton, MD, is president and CEO of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), a not-for-profit institution that represents the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies.
Dr. Skorton began his leadership of the AAMC in July 2019 after a distinguished career in government, higher education, and medicine.
Most recently, Dr. Skorton served as the 13th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversaw 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and education programs. Prior to that, he served as president of two universities: Cornell University (2006 to 2015) and the University of Iowa (2003 to 2006), where he also served on the faculty for 26 years and specialized in the treatment of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease. A pioneer of cardiac imaging and computer processing techniques, he was co-director and co-founder of the University of Iowa Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic.
A distinguished professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Skorton is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also served on the AAMC Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013, and was the charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first group organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs.
Throughout his career, Dr. Skorton has focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. A nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, as well as an accomplished jazz musician and composer, Dr. Skorton believes that many of society’s thorniest problems can only be solved by combining the sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities.
Dr. Skorton earned his BA from Northwestern University and MD from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology and was chief medical resident at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is married to Robin Davisson, PhD, an award-winning scientist, who is a professor of molecular physiology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as a professor of medicine at Georgetown University and an emerging visual artist.