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다트머스대 취임식에서 초청 연사의 유머에 김용(왼쪽) 신임총장이 함박웃음을 터트리고 있다.


김용 총장(왼쪽)이 취임식 뒤 자신의 모교이자 아이비리그 첫 흑인 총장인 루스 시몬스 브라운대학 총장과 함께 기념 촬영을 했다.

한국인 최초의 아이비리그 총장, 김용!!

미국 동부 8개 명문 사립대(아이비리그) 중 하나인 뉴햄프셔주 하노버에 위치한 다트머스 대학(Dartmouth College, 1769년 설립) 17대 총장에 김용(미국명 Jim Yong Kim) 박사가 취임했다.

하버드, 예일, 프린스턴, 브라운 등 미국 동부 8개 명문 사립대를 뜻하는 아이비리그에서 한국인은 물론 아시아계 출신 인사가 총장에 선임되기는 김용 총장이 처음이지만, 그는 “첫 번째라는 사실은 영광이지만 제가 마지막은 절대 아닐 겁니다”라고 말하며 제2, 제3의 한국인 아이비리그 총장이 나오기를 희망한다.

5살 때 가족과 함께 미국에 이민 온 김 총장은 브라운 대학(1982년 졸업)을 거쳐 하버드 대학교에서 의학(1991년)과 인류학(1993년)으로 박사학위를 받았다.

“한국 문화를 자랑스럽게 여기며 이를 잊지 않기 위해 애쓴다”고 말했던 그는 취임식장으로 가는 길에도 사물놀이패를 앞세웠다. 그의 취임식에는 흑인으로서 처음 아이비리그 총장에 오른 브라운 대학의 루스 시몬스(Ruth Simmons) 총장과 존 리치 뉴햄프셔 주지사 등 5000여 명이 참석했다.

케이블채널 tvN 인터뷰에서 “치과 의사이셨던 실용적인 아버지와 유교 철학을 공부하셨던 어머니가 있었기에 지금의 자리에 오를 수 있었다”라고 고백한 김 총장은 “어머니는 퇴계 이황과 마틴 루터 킹 목사에 대한 이야기를 들려주시며 세상을 위해 어떤 사람이 돼야 할지를 생각하게 하셨고, 아버지도 막연한 꿈을 꾸기 전에 그 꿈을 이룰 수 있는 기술과 실력을 키우라고 강조하셨다”며 부모님의 곧은 교육방침을 소개했다.

이후 한 순간도 특정한 직책에 욕심 내지 않고 순수한 열정으로 이웃에 대한 사랑과 봉사를 실천하며 꿈을 향한 실력을 쌓아갔기에 한국인 최초 아이비리그 총장이라는 성공의 열쇠를 찾을 수 있었다고 말했다. 또한 하버드 의대 교수 재직시절 중남미 등의 빈민지역에서 결핵 퇴치를 위한 의료구호활동을 벌이고 2004년 세계보건기구(WHO) 에이즈 국장을 맡아 에이즈와 결핵퇴치를 위해 헌신한 경험도 소개했다.

개발도상국 에이즈 치료에 헌신한 공을 인정받은 김 총장은 2005년 US 뉴스 앤 월드 리포트 선정 `미국의 최고 지도자 25명'과 2006 미국 타임지가 뽑은 ‘세계에서 영향력 있는 100인’에 드는 영광을 누릴 수 있었다. 나아가 다트머스의 핵심 사명인 ‘배움과 혁신, 봉사’에 가장 이상적인 인물로 선정돼 240년의 전통을 자랑하는 다트머스 대학을 이끌 수장의 영예를 안게 됐다.

◆김용 총장 Profile

1959년 12월 서울에서 태어난 뒤 5살 때 아시아계 가정이 단 두 가정에 불과했던 아이오와주 머스커틴으로 부모와 함께 이민했다. 82년 브라운대학을 졸업하고 하버드대학원에서 의학과 인류학 박사학위를 받았으며 하버드 의대 교수로 재직해왔다. 20년 넘게 하버드대에서 학생들을 가르치고 질병 퇴치에 앞장서며, 학문적으로는 물론 인도주의적 활동과 국제 의료활동으로 명성을 쌓아왔다.

중남미 등의 빈민지역에서 결핵 퇴치를 위한 의료구호활동을 벌여왔고, 2003년에는 한국출신 최초로 ‘맥아더 휄로우쉽(MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship Award)’을 수상하였으며, 2004년에는 세계보건기구(WHO) 에이즈국장을 맡기도 했다. 하버드 의대 교수와 국제보건·사회의학과장을 지냈으며, 비영리 의료단체인 ‘파트너스 인 헬스(PIH)’를 공동 창립해 가난한 나라의 공중보건 향상에 앞장섰다.

2006년에는 미국 타임 지가 뽑은 `세계에서 가장 영향력 있는 100인'에 선정되기도 했고, 2005년에는 US 뉴스 앤 월드 리포트에 의해 `미국의 최고 지도자 25명'에 뽑히기도 했다. 김 총장은 보스턴 어린이병원 소아과 전문의인 부인 임윤숙씨와 토마스·니콜라스 두 아들을 두고 있다.






Creating Better People

By Charlotte Bruce Harvey '78 (BAM's managing editor.)
Brown Alumni Magazine (May/June 2009): http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/content/view/2272/40/
                                   (July/August 2009): http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/content/view/2324/40/

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim thrives on intractable problems. As students at Harvard Medical School, he and Paul Farmer founded Partners in Health to fight AIDS and poverty in Haiti. Kim followed that by revamping the treatment of multi-–drug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide, and, as a top World Health Organization official, he led its drive to deliver antiretroviral drugs to millions more AIDS patients around the globe.  In 2006 Kim returned to Harvard to teach and to run its global health program. He and the Ivy League apparently clicked: this summer he becomes Dartmouth's seventeenth president.

Kim, the subject of the November/December 2006 BAM cover story, won a MacArthur "genius" award in 2003 and a William Rogers Award from Brown in 2008. He returns to College Hill over Commencement Weekend this year to address the graduating class of the Alpert Medical School and to receive an honorary degree.

In April, the BAM checked in again with Kim to ask about his decision to leave global health for higher ed.

What on earth made you want to be a college president when endowments are down, and Dartmouth, like Brown, is facing layoffs?

It wasn't that a university presidency came along and I threw my hat in the ring. That's not how it happened at all. I had a chance meeting with Al Mulley, the chair of the search committee [and an associate professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School], and he asked me to look at the job.

And the reason I looked at it was because my mentor, Howard Hiatt, the former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, told me, "Jim, whenever somebody asks you to look at an important job, it's your responsibility to the community to go look at it. Hearing how you would do the job—it helps the people running that institution to shape, in their minds, what they're looking for."

But why Dartmouth?

I had so many misunderstandings and misconceptions about Dartmouth, and when I started reading deeply about it, I really felt I understood what they were trying to do. I'd never understood the almost unparalleled devotion of Dartmouth alums before.

At Harvard I was teaching medical students and had my hands on the wheel, but I was only affecting a few dozen students at a time and was not in a position to shape their whole education. And along comes Dartmouth and says, "We have always been committed to providing the best undergraduate education in the world."

[Former Dartmouth President] John Sloan Dickey told students, "The world's troubles are your troubles, and there is no problem in the world that cannot be fixed by better human beings." When I read that, I thought, "Whoa, that is different!" And I went back and asked, "Is this what you want me to do—to have my first and foremost goal be the creation of a new cadre of people who can solve the world's most difficult problems?" And they said, "Absolutely." The search committee was amazing. This was a risky, bold move for them.

Do you see education as a different way to accomplish the same goal you've been pursuing through global health: solving the world's problems?

For the past twenty-five years I've thrown my body at problems—WHO, Peru, HIV, and multi–drug-resistant TB treatment—I literally went out there every day advocating for change, raising money. The question for me was: Am I going to have a bigger impact by doing that again, or by inspiring young people who will be equipped to take on these problems far more effectively than I am?

And that's what it came to, a choice between throwing my body at these problems again or taking on the creation of a cadre of inspired young people. I've learned a bit about how to inspire and guide young people to take on these problems. This is not a lifestyle choice. It's a major life choice for me. At Dartmouth I can take a shot at creating hundreds and thousands of young people who are equipped to take on the world's troubles.

Just a few days after your appointment was announced, a Dartmouth student sent an anonymous e-mail to the college community calling you a "Chinaman" and satirically referring to your appointment as an example of yet another immigrant taking jobs from American workers. How did you respond?

When that happened, I had an idea of how to respond. But I called [President] Ruth [Simmons], and she called me right back and was so full of warmth and wisdom. She talked me through some past incidents and gave me wonderful advice about how to think about incidents like this.

World Health Organization: In Nairobi, in 2003, Kim kicked off an ambitious World Health Organization drive to get HIV drugs to three million new patients by 2005. While it didn't meet the goal, more than a million new cases were treated.

What did she suggest you do?

Her advice was more about what it means to become the president of an Ivy League institution and how much people hang on your every word—about the importance of setting the tone early on. She said that at first there's no question that racial issues might come out, but, she said, that changes over time as you make decisions. At this point, people know her as Ruth, the president of Brown, and not Ruth, the African American president of Brown.

Ruth Simmons was the first African American to become president of an Ivy League school, and you'll be the first Asian American. Did she have any insights into the historical significance of your new job?

She said, "Your community is going to be wildly excited about this." And it happened. The news just exploded in South Korea. It was on the front page of the papers and on the evening news. I was deluged with interest from not only the Korean media but also the Asian American media.

But she said being a university president is a complicated job, and your race is going to go into the background. She gave me a very practical way of dealing with the e-mail incident: She said you're not the president; you're the president-elect, and you should let the president take the lead, which he did with great skill.

She was the voice of experience, then.

She said this is what a university president's life is like, and she told me how she has dealt with crises like this before. She had a very calming influence. She gave me ... wisdom is the only word I can use to describe it.

In Asian culture we have very well developed ways of talking about people like Ruth. We call them sages, people who are brilliant to start with but because of their experience and the number of difficult bumps they've battled, they just have a wisdom so deep that people flock to them.

One of the things Ruth pointed out was that you can't help the fact that race will be an issue. These are very old institutions that have had people of color in leadership roles only very recently. It's just what Obama said: we are not in a post-racial era, and won't be for a very long time. But now that people of color are taking leadership roles, the conversation will change. The discussion of race on campus will take on a different feel because I'm there.

Many people in the global health community were surprised by your decision to accept the offer from Dartmouth. Some thought you might join the Obama administration.

I was involved in discussions with the Obama administration—that's true—and it's also true that Harvard students had mounted a campaign for me to take a job in the Obama administration. In fact, early on I had hoped to find myself there, but then this happened. Who would have guessed six months ago that Dartmouth would ask me to be president?

You have a doctorate in anthropology. Do you ever get to use it?

When I was at WHO, being a doctor helped me on many days, but being an anthropologist helped me every day. Some people interpret politics as personal and take attacks personally. But if you approach politics as an anthropologist, when someone attacks you the first thing you have to think is: "Who are these people? What are their motivations? How do they fit into the social and cultural mix here? How much power do they have? And if I respond this way, what are the ripples going to look like?" You have to go through that exercise.

I'm not saying I do it all the time, but that's the kind of ethnographic discipline that you get as an anthropologist—to try to understand social organizations deeply before taking actions. Most anthropologists understand organizations as deeply as possible and then write about them, but I've always had to do ethnography and then act on it. It's a bit different.

Will you be an anthropologist in Hanover?

I've heard that one of the Dartmouth anthropologists has studied fraternities and sororities and their drinking culture. I'm guessing the faculty will have some very interesting and entertaining takes on the culture there. It will be great fun to do my own ethnography of the College.

Partners in Health: In 1995, Kim started a clinic in a slum outside of Lima, Peru. When multi-drug-resistant TB broke out, he challenged WHO's policy of letting it go untreated in poor populations.

What skills do you want to give college students?

One is, when you walk into a situation not to look at it in a unidimensional way but to try to capture the whole complexity of the situation. Many brilliant young kids have taken a lot of classes—and usually the ones who've gotten into Harvard Medical School have done very well in those classes—but life doesn't present itself in the form of syllabi or academic disciplines. I've become a big believer in the Dewian notion that the best way to learn is by doing. And if you can have your mentor at your side while you're doing, that's about as good as it gets.

In John Sloan Dickey's time, Dartmouth had a Great Issues class for seniors. The leader of the American Communist Party might come one week, and very conservative politicians another. I'm all for robust departments and a strong focus on disciplines, but I also think there's a role for engaging an entire class of students with problems of great complexity so that when they leave college they've had some kind of shared experience. I'm going to try to teach a great issues course somehow.

What about nonacademic skills?

I've come to believe that leadership is something we have to try to teach and foster. Some people would say, "How do you define it? It's not really a discipline. It's so vague." I disagree. Leadership is not just how an individual stands up to give stirring speeches. It's about the nature of social institutions, and in difficult times getting a group of people to do things that they would not even want to do otherwise.

How do you do that? I had wonderful mentors in my medical career, people who really helped me with leadership. In academia, we probably don't do as well with that. Many academics are loners, or work in very small groups.

Another thing is being part of our democracy. In my own struggles to get the U.S. Congress to care more about things like global health, I have learned that I knew almost nothing about civics. I probably studied it in second or third grade and never again. We are not very informed citizens overall. And it's too bad because participation is everything.

These are all things that I have noticed in my own efforts to change things in the world, frankly.

You and your wife, Younsook Lim, have two sons, eight-year-old Thomas and Nicolas, who was born February 27, just days before your new job was announced. How are you going to balance your family life with the travel and other demands of the job?

People say that being a college president is really difficult because of all the travel, but I've been doing that my whole life. The travel will actually be easier for me.

Jim Yong Kim at the ceremony in the First Baptist Church.

What about raising money? So much of a college president's time must be spent raising money these days.

I have never in my life raised funds from a dedicated constituency. I have always been trying to get people—Irish Catholics in Cambridge, people who live on the upper west side of New York City—to care about poor people in Haiti and Rwanda. It turns out that there's a natural constituency of die-hard devotees to Dartmouth College, and I've got to inspire them about something they already love.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity for the first time in my life to fund-raise from people who love the place and are inclined to give-, people who want to be inspired.

Academic politics can be notoriously nasty. How will you manage that?

When I came back to Harvard, people said, "How are you going to deal with such complicated politics?" I said, "Complicated politics? Compared to WHO?" At WHO there were knives and daggers coming from people from every country in the world, in fifty languages, from people who wanted to keep their jobs, people who felt terribly strongly about one thing or another, people who hated America. I got to spend three years conducting my own informal ethnographic study of politics. And I can tell you, having everyone speak English is a great advantage.

Another thing most academic administrators don't look forward to is managing sports teams.

But you're an athlete. Growing up in Iowa, you were quarterback and captain of your high school football team.

[Laughing] I love it! The Dartmouth football team was 0–10 last year, and we've got to fix that! I'm going to love trying to create great sports programs.


Posted by megan