Amy Gutmann was named by President Barack Obama as chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues on Nov. 24, 2009. Dr. Gutmann is the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s preeminent teaching and research institutions. As Penn’s President since July 1, 2004, Dr. Gutmann has been a forceful advocate for increasing access to higher education, for integrating knowledge across multiple disciplines to address complex problems, and for championing civic engagement with communities both domestically and globally.
A political scientist and philosopher, Dr. Gutmann is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn, with secondary faculty appointments in Philosophy, the Annenberg School for Communication, and the Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gutmann has authored and edited 15 books and has published more than 100 articles, essays, and book chapters, and continues to teach and write on ethics and public policy, democracy, and education.
In her inaugural address at Penn, Dr. Gutmann launched the Penn Compact, her vision for making Penn a global leader in teaching, research, and professional practice, as well as a dynamic agent of social, economic, and civic progress. The Compact focuses on increasing access for the most talented students regardless of socioeconomic background, recruiting and retaining eminent faculty who integrate knowledge across multiple disciplines, and making Penn a more powerful transformational force locally, nationally, and globally. As Penn’s President, Dr. Gutmann has dramatically increased financial aid, replacing loans with grants for all undergraduate students with financial need. Penn has become a model for interdisciplinary education and for environmental sustainability. In 2009, Penn was named the number one “good neighbor” among American colleges and universities for its model partnership programs that productively engage Penn students, faculty, and staff with the Philadelphia community and region.
Dr. Gutmann serves on the Boards of Directors of the Carnegie Corporation, the Vanguard Corporation, and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. policy toward India, the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), which convenes at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which advises the Secretary General of the U.N. on a range of issues, including the social responsibility of universities. In 2007, she co-chaired the transition team for Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and from 2005 to 2009 she served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, a committee that advises the FBI on national security issues relating to academia.
As CEO of Philadelphia’s largest private employer, Dr. Gutmann is a leader in civic and business affairs. Penn’s new campus master plan, “Penn Connects,” is converting 24 industrial acres into a mixed-use neighborhood and beautiful urban park overlooking the Schuylkill River while also creating a state-of-the-art medical complex that fully integrates translational research with patient care with the opening of the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine (2008), the Roberts Proton Therapy Center (2009) and the Fisher Translational Research Center (2010).
Dr. Gutmann remains an active teacher and scholar. In recent years, she delivered the 30th annual Pullias Lecture at the University of Southern California, “Great Expectations for Higher Education in the 21st Century,” lectured at Brown and Stanford universities and at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Scholars on the lure of extremist rhetoric, and delivered the keynote address, “Educating for Citizenship: Locally and Globally,” to the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Her most recent books include "Why Deliberative Democracy?" (2004, with Dennis Thompson), "Identity in Democracy" (2003), "Democratic Education" (1999, revised edition), "Democracy and Disagreement" (1996, with Dennis Thompson and selected by Choice as one of “the outstanding political science books for 1997”), and "Color Conscious" (1996, with K. Anthony Appiah). "Color Conscious" won the Ralph J. Bunche Award “for the best scholarly work in political science that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism,” the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights Award for the “outstanding book on the subject of human rights in North America.”
In 2009, Dr. Gutmann received the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award in recognition of her success in achieving the goals of the Penn Compact. She was honored in 2006 with the Alumnae Recognition Award from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for her outstanding contributions to liberal arts and sciences education. In 2005, she received honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester and Wesleyan University. She was awarded the Harvard University Centennial Medal in 2003, which recognizes “graduate alumni who have made exceptional contributions to society.”
Dr. Gutmann has served as president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy and is a founding member of the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics. She has been elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education, and as a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Prior to her appointment as Penn’s President, Dr. Gutmann served as Provost at Princeton University, where she also was the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics. She was the founding Director of the University Center for Human Values, an eminent multi-disciplinary center that supports teaching, scholarship and public discussion of ethics and human values. She served as Princeton’s Dean of the Faculty from 1995-97 and as Academic Advisor to the President from 1997-98. In 2000, she was awarded the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award by Princeton University.
Dr. Gutmann graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College. She earned her master’s degree in Political Science from the London School of Economics and her doctorate in Political Science from Harvard University. She is married to Michael W. Doyle, the Harold Brown Professor of Law and International Affairs at Columbia University. Their daughter, Abigail Gutmann Doyle, is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University. Their son-in-law, Jakub Jurek, is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Princeton University.