Penn's Amy Gutmann, a Carnegie Corporation Trustee, Tapped by Obama to Lead Bioethics Panel

New York, New York, December 1, 2009 — Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, was named last week by President Obama to chair a new advisory panel on bioethics.

Gutmann will lead the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, a panel which President Obama established by executive order. James W. Wagner, president of Emory University, will serve as the panel's vice chair.

In a statement issued by the White House, 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."

The new bioethics panel replaces President George W. Bush's Council on Bioethics, which came under criticism within the science community for its alleged political bias. President Obama disbanded the council earlier this year.

Commenting on the appointment of Dr. Gutmann to the Presidential Commission, Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation said, "In our globalized world of competitive, knowledge-based markets, advances in science and technology increasingly provide the fuel for the engines of progress. But as Americans, we are always concerned not only with striding forward into the future but doing so with a deep understanding of how the challenges ahead will affect our society. As Carnegie Corporation and its Board of Trustees confront these issues in our work, we have benefited from the wise counsel and probing insight of our colleague, Amy Gutmann. Hence, her fellow Trustees and I congratulate her on her appointment as Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, confident that her leadership of this panel will be uniquely enriched by her rigorous intellect, her years of experience and her concern for the welfare of humanity both today and tomorrow." 

Dr. Amy Gutmann, a distinguished political scientist, philosopher, and scholar of ethics and public policy, currently serves as president of the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and holds secondary appointments in communications, education, and philosophy. Prior to her appointment as the University of Pennsylvania's president in 2004, Dr. Gutmann served as Provost at Princeton University, where she was also the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics. At Princeton, she was the founding Director of the University Center for Human Values - a leading multi-disciplinary center that fosters greater research and discourse on ethics and human values. Dr. Gutmann has authored and edited 15 books and has published more than 100 articles, essays, and book chapters. She is a founding member of the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Vanguard Corporation, and the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center. She received her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and Ph.D. from Harvard University.