Donald Kennedy

Donald Kennedy

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Donald Kennedy is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 scientist, public administrator and academic.

Donald Kennedy was born in New York and educated at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

; Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

, Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, 1956). He has spent most of his professional career at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, which he joined as a faculty member in 1960 and where he was chair of the Department of Biology from 1964–1972, then director of the Program in Human Biology from 1973-1977. Kennedy is a fellow of the Hastings Center
Hastings Center
The Hastings Center, founded in 1969, is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit bioethics research institute based in the United States. It is dedicated to the examination of essential questions in health care, biotechnology, and the environment...

, an independent bioethics research institution, and is on the board of directors of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private foundation that provides grants to not-for-profit organizations. It was created in 1964 by David Packard and his wife Lucile Salter Packard. Following David Packard's death in 1996, the Foundation became the beneficiary of part of his estate...


For 26 months he served as Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 during the Carter Administration
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

. Having been appointed by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Joseph Califano, in April 1977, in the next two-plus years Kennedy and the FDA dealt with issues such as the fallout from the attempt to ban saccharin
Saccharin is an artificial sweetener. The basic substance, benzoic sulfilimine, has effectively no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose, but has a bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations...

 and worked on provisions of the proposed Drug Regulation Reform Act of 1978.

After stepping down from the FDA in June 1979, Kennedy returned to Stanford where he served as vice president for academic affairs and then provost. In 1980 he became president of Stanford University and served in that position until 1992. Amid a financial scandal broken by the San Jose Mercury News, he resigned in 1992.From 2000 until 2008, he was editor-in-chief of Science
Science (journal)
Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top scientific journals....

, the prestigious weekly published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

 (AAAS) (replaced by Bruce Alberts
Bruce Alberts
Bruce Michael Alberts is an American biochemist known for his work in science public policy and as an original author of the Molecular Biology of the Cell...


According to his Stanford biography, Kennedy's present research interests relate to "policy on such trans-boundary environmental problems as: major land-use changes; economically-driven alterations in agricultural practice; global climate change; and the development of regulatory policies."

In 2010 he received Wonderfest's
Wonderfest is a nonprofit California corporation dedicated to informal science education. Wonderfest seeks to inspire and nurture a deep sense of wonder about the world. Through provocative public discourse about science, Wonderfest aspires to stimulate curiosity, promote careful reasoning,...

 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.