The Smithsonian Board of Regents announced today that Dr. David Skorton, former president of the University of Iowa, will serve as Secretary of the Smithsonian, effective July 2015.
Skorton, a cardiologist and current president at Cornell University, will become the institution’s 13th Secretary in its 168 year history. He will be the first physician to lead the Smithsonian, which constitutes nineteen museums and the National Zoological Park.
The selection comes after the Smithsonian Institution formed a nine-member committee in September 2013 to find a suitable replacement for Clough, who had announced previously his plans to retire. The committee solicited input from stakeholders, employees and the public to aid in its decision before starting the interview process in December 2013. The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents selected Skorton with a final vote on Sunday, March 9.
In a statement released earlier today, Smithsonian Chancellor and U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts said:
David Skorton has demonstrated keen vision and skilled leadership as the president of two great American universities. His character, experience and talents are an ideal match for the Smithsonian’s broad and dynamic range of interests, endeavors and aspirations. I look forward to working with David to increase the impact of an incomparable American institution across the spectrum of arts, sciences, education, and culture.
Skorton was a member of the University of Iowa’s faculty for 26 years where he eventually served as president from 2003 to 2006.