David J. Skorton Is Your New Smithsonian Secretary

Dr. David J. Skorton. Photo: John Gibbons, Smithsonian Institution.

On Monday the Smithsonian Institution‘s board of regents announced the selection of David J. Skorton to be its next secretary, a job he will begin in July of 2015. Skorton, who has been the president of Cornell University since 2006 and teaches in the school’s Medical College and College of Engineering, will the first physician to take the helm of the Smithsonian. He specializes in cardiology, cardiac imagery, and heart disease.

“Becoming a part of the Smithsonian is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead an institution that is at the heart of the country’s cultural, artistic, historical and scientific life,” Skorton said in a statement. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to partnering with the excellent staff and volunteers, and engaging with the Regents, Congress and the Smithsonian’s many friends, supporters and affiliates to further extend our reach. I am eager to work with the leaders of Washington’s art, science and cultural centers to emphasize the critical importance of these disciplines.”

Before moving up to the Ivy League, Skorton was the president of the University of Iowa from between 2003 and 2006—he was a faculty member there for more than a quarter century.

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