Obama reappoints Gutmann to bioethics commissions
The commission advises the president on matters related to bioethics, science and technology
February 19, 2012, 7:34 pm · Updated February 20, 2012, 11:04 pm·
Penn President Amy Gutmann will continue to have the opportunity to extend the University’s influence to Washington.
On Friday, President Barack Obama announced that he has reappointed Gutmann as chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
The commission — which Gutmann was named to in November 2009 — advises the president on matters related to bioethics, in addition to science and technology.
Obama also reappointed James Wagner, the president of Emory University, as vice chair of the commission on Friday.
“I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country,” Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Over the past few months in particular, Gutmann’s commission has been particularly active.
In November, it released a 200-page report that urged stronger protections for human subjects in government-funded research. The report outlined a 14-step process for establishing better safeguards in the rare cases that people involved in research are harmed.
“It is … clear that improvements can be made to protect human subjects going forward,” Gutmann said in a statement at the time of the report’s release. “With the Commission’s recommendations, society will continue to benefit from advances in quality of life made possible by human subjects research and ensure respect for the inherent dignity of individual research volunteers.”
Gutmann also serves on numerous other national boards and commissions, such as the Board of Directors for the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the National Constitution Center Board of Trustees.
“It is fitting that President Gutmann has been chosen by President Obama for this important national position,” Board of Trustees Chair David Cohen told The Daily Pennsylvanian when Gutmann was initially appointed chair in 2009. “Dr. Gutmann is an eminent scholar and prize-winning teacher renowned for her expertise in multiple fields.”