Back in 2009, we had blogged about Dartmouth hiring Dr. Jim Yong Kim as their new president – the first Asian American every to (and only the second “person of color”) lead an Ivy League university. At the time, I just assumed as an older Asian American, having been born in Korea with the original name as Kim Yong, that he might have some of a foreign accent. It’s really great to see an Asian American in an academic leadership position (or any leadership position for that matter).
I had actually never heard Dr. Kim speak, so when I saw him on Charlie Rose this past week, I had another Californian Asian American Culture Shock moment! So I quickly looked up on Wikipedia and found that Kim and his family had moved to Iowa in 1964 at age 5. I guess if you live in Iowa, you better assimilate quickly – and it looks like that Kim did, as when he was in high school, he played played both quarterback for the football team and point guard on the basketball team (and yeah, he was valedictorian). His credentials are pretty through the roof. In any case, catch his interview if you have a chance. He talks a lot about his specialty – global healthcare, as well as his involvement in Seoul National University – and how visitors from the University visited Dartmouth to help create a more liberal arts education and spur creativity on campus.