Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA – Grinnell College’s Board of Trustees today announced that Raynard S. Kington, M.D., M.B.A., Ph.D., the deputy director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a leading scientific researcher on the role of social factors as determinants of health, will become Grinnell College’s 13th president on August 1, 2010.

Dr. Kington was unanimously elected by the trustees after an extensive nationwide search by a 14-member Presidential Search Committee, including representatives from the trustees, faculty, administration, student body and alumni. The committee considered a diverse pool of more than 200 candidates with remarkable talents and accomplishments from large and small public and private institutions as well as multiple academic disciplines. The trustees noted Dr. Kington’s exceptional record of achievement at NIH and at the RAND Corporation, including his leadership, policy direction and coordination of NIH biomedical research and research training programs at NIH’s 27 institutes and centers, and his community-based leadership and research in Los Angeles, Calif.

The trustees further noted Dr. Kington’s unique professional experience at the intersection of higher education, management, public policy, science and medicine. He was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, where he currently serves as the chair of the Section on Administration of Health Services, Education and Research. His broad based responsibilities have included serving as associate director of NIH for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Prior to NIH, he was a division director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he led the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, one of the nation’s largest studies to assess the health of the American people. Dr. Kington has been a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation and was the co-director of the Charles R. Drew University/RAND Center on Health and Aging. He has served as an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA and as a visiting associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kington will succeed Russell K. Osgood, who served as Grinnell’s president for 12 years and announced his retirement in May of 2009.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Kington, an extraordinarily accomplished scientist, administrator and physician, will lead Grinnell College into the future,” said David White, chair of the Board of Trustees and Grinnell College class of 1990. “His passionate belief in the value of a liberal arts education is coupled with a remarkably high level of intellectual energy, a demonstrated commitment to social responsibility and an extensive range of knowledge and experience in scientific, health, economic and social issues. Dr. Kington is an exceptional person who possesses those qualities that will enable Grinnell to build upon our historic commitment to academic excellence and community engagement.”

Dr. Kington’s personal example underscores his commitment to educational excellence. At the age of 16, he entered a combined undergraduate-medical school program at the University of Michigan that allowed him to earn his B.S. when he was 19 and his M.D. when he was just 21 years old. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Michael Reese Medical Center in Chicago and was appointed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he completed his M.B.A. and Ph.D. with a concentration in health policy and economics at The Wharton School.

“I am absolutely delighted to join the Grinnell community and excited about the tremendous possibilities awaiting this distinguished college,” said Dr. Kington. “My entire career to date has been a reflection of the three core values of Grinnell: the pursuit of academic excellence, the advancement of a diverse community and the promotion of social justice. For those fortunate enough to attend a top-tier liberal arts college, particularly one with Grinnell’s wonderful heritage, the experience can be transformative. It opens the pathway to a life where students become citizens who make a difference in the world and improve society for the benefit of us all. I can think of no more gratifying opportunity than to lead Grinnell College as it strives to build on this tradition, and I am eager to get started.”

In recruiting the 13th president for 164-year old Grinnell College, the Presidential Search Committee established a rigorous set of criteria. “We sought a visionary individual of distinguished intellectual achievements, combined with the ability to inspire our community of scholars,” said Paul Risser, search committee chair and Grinnell College class of 1961. “Dr. Kington is one of those very special persons who has enormous talents, who is truly at the top of his field nationally and who literally lives the values and excellence that are the essence of Grinnell College.”

Dr. Kington joins Grinnell at a time of significant institutional strength and accomplishment. During President Osgood’s tenure, the college generously enhanced its financial aid policies to continue to meet the full, demonstrated need of domestic students; established the Expanding Knowledge Initiative, a program that facilitates interdisciplinary study; initiated a master facilities planning process that led to significant enhancements of its buildings and campus; and instituted a proactive recruitment effort that is substantially broadening diversity within the faculty and student body.

At the same time, Grinnell has identified ambitious goals for the years ahead as it seeks to achieve its highest potential as one of the country’s very best liberal arts colleges. Among these are building upon the college’s innovative inquiry-based learning model and substantial investments in interdisciplinary study; promoting deliberative processes that value all voices within the community; and effectively communicating Grinnell’s record of achievement nationally and internationally.

“Rigorous intellectual inquiry is the hallmark of a great academic institution,” observes Dr. Kington. “Liberal arts colleges like Grinnell can play an important role in preparing students for careers that combine social responsibility with a professional or disciplinary focus.”

Dr. Kington; his partner, Peter T. Daniolos M.D., a child psychiatrist at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University; and their two young children plan to move to Grinnell during the summer and occupy the president’s home at the college.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.