Office of the President


David J. Skorton

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President: 2006 - | Inauguration: September 7, 2006

David J. Skorton became Cornell University’s 12th president on July 1, 2006 and was formally inaugurated in ceremonies on Cornell’s Ithaca campus on September 7, 2006. President Skorton holds faculty appointments in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill-Cornell Medical College (WCMC) in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.

Portrait of David J. Skorton

President David J. Skorton

A seasoned administrator, board-certified cardiologist, biomedical researcher, musician and advocate for the arts and humanities, President Skorton was president of the University of Iowa (UI) for three years, beginning in March 2003, and a faculty member at UI for 26 years. At Iowa, he held the rank of professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Co-founder and co-director of the UI Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, President Skorton has focused his research on congenital heart disease in adolescents and adults, cardiac imaging, and computer image processing. He has published numerous articles, reviews, book chapters, and two major texts in the areas of cardiac imaging and image processing.

Appointed UI vice president for research in 1992, by Hunter Rawlings, who was then president of UI, he also served as interim vice president for external relations in 2000. In March 2002, he was appointed vice president for research and external relations and served in that position until he assumed the Iowa presidency. As vice president, he oversaw more than 30 administrative units and headed a research and development program that ranks among the nation's top 20 public research universities in obtaining external funding. He also continued his role as a physician, caring for adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease.

A national leader in research ethics, President Skorton is charter past-president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first entity organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs. He has served on the boards and committees of many other national organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the American Society of Echocardiography, the Association of American Universities, the Council on Competitiveness, and the Korea America Friendship Society. He has traveled widely in Europe and Asia on behalf of both academic and community projects, and he has engaged in service to the community and to the state of Iowa, particularly in regional and state economic development.

President Skorton earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1970 and an M.D. in 1974, both from Northwestern University. Following a medical residency and cardiology fellowship at The University of California, Los Angeles, he came to UI in 1980 as an instructor. He was named assistant professor of internal medicine in 1981 and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in 1982. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and to professor in 1988.

President Skorton previously worked as a professional jazz and R&B musician in the Chicago area.  He continued to study and play saxophone and flute in Iowa City and hosted a weekly jazz program, “As Night Falls,” on KSUI, UI's public FM radio station.