UI Presidential PortraitsDavid Jan Skorton (2003-2006)

David Jan Skorton (2003-2006)

David Jan Skorton

Oil on canvas by Rose Frantzen, 2018

David Skorton’s background as a physician, researcher, and musician provided a basis for his career as an academician and university administrator.

Skorton earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1970 and an M.D. in 1974, both at Northwestern University. He went on to complete his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He joined the University of Iowa College of Medicine faculty in 1980 and was named an assistant professor of internal medicine the following year. In 1982, he became an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. He served as vice president for research and vice president for external relations prior to his appointment as president.

In 2006, Skorton was named president of Cornell University, a position he held for nine years. In 2015 he was appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and in 2019 was named president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Skorton was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 22, 1949. In 2004, he married Robin L. Davisson, an associate professor of anatomy and Cedar Rapids native.