Jim Yong Kim will be the first Asian-American and the first Korean to head an Ivy League institution. He will formally assume his position on July 1, 2009. He is a Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine and 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 Francois Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, and a former director of the World Health Organization HIV/AIDS department.
News of Kim’s appointment has been widely covered by the Korean-American media as well.
Kim’s appointment is “definitely newsworthy,” Grace Yoo, executive director of the Korean-American Coalition in Los Angeles, said, adding that the Korean-American community is “elated” about Kim’s new position at Dartmouth.
Kim’s appointment brings hope to Korean-American youth who want to succeed in the “mainstream” United States, Yoo said.
“It’s another barrier that has been broken,” she said. “As people learn more about his accomplishments, his name will be one of those that will be revered.”
Kim’s previous work in global health was also widely featured, Yoo said.
Kim received the Korean-American Coalition’s Distinguished Leadership Award in 2008 and leads the coalition’s annual national college leadership conference.