Jeffrey Kahn appointed to new term as Berman Institute of Bioethics director

Kahn has led the institute since 2016, promoting collaborations across Johns Hopkins University and fortifying Berman's position as one of the top bioethics programs in the world

Jeffrey Kahn, a nationally recognized leader in bioethics whose work explores the intersection of ethics and health and science policy, has been appointed to a second term as Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Jeffrey Kahn

Kahn has served as director since 2016, when he succeeded the institute's inaugural director, Ruth Faden. During his tenure, Kahn has strengthened the Berman Institute's standing as one of the top bioethics programs in the world; expanded collaboration across the university; increased available resources for the institute's faculty, staff and students; and successfully led the institute through the years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Jeff has been an outstanding director since 2016 and has been particularly strong in building strategic partnerships with divisions across Johns Hopkins," said Stephen Gange, interim provost and executive vice provost for academic affairs. "I look forward to his continued leadership and the growing success of the Berman Institute in the years ahead."

Under Kahn's leadership, the Berman Institute has:

  • Collaborated with academic colleagues and policymakers, in Baltimore and around the globe, to help ensure an ethical public health response to COVID-19
  • Received the largest gift in the institute's history, to endow funding for the full range of education and training programs, including endowed MBE scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships
  • Established a global partnership on infectious disease ethics with a counterpart program at the University of Oxford
  • Led the creation and launch of the Dracopoulos-Bloomberg Bioethics iDeas Lab to pioneer new approaches for creating and disseminating bioethics content
  • Established new bioethics training programs for health and science professionals in Africa, Asia, and Europe
  • Grew the master's degree program enrollment and securing scholarship funding to support recruitment of the most highly qualified students
  • Raised funds for and participated in the planning and design process for Henrietta Lacks Hall, adding needed space for education, faculty, and the public
  • Strengthened inter-divisional connections within JHU through new projects in applied ethics
  • Diversified the faculty with recruitment of younger and more diverse scholars and researchers
  • Launched an Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity effort that is a model for other parts of the university

"I am honored to have been appointed for another term as director of the Berman Institute—it is a privilege to lead such an exemplary program and to be able to work with such outstanding faculty, staff, trainees, and students," Kahn said. "It's an exciting and challenging time for bioethics as innovations and advances continue to raise critical ethical and policy issues, and I look forward leading the Institute as it enters the next chapter in its history."

In addition to leading the Berman Institute, Kahn also maintains a robust research agenda focused on ethical and policy issues in public health and emerging life sciences technologies. He is a frequent leader of national and international conversations on these topics, and he and colleagues recently completed a multi-year project funded by the NIH entitled BRIDGES (Bridging Infectious Disease, Genomics, and Society) that explored the ethical, legal, and social implications of host genomics in infectious disease.

Kahn continues to work on projects funded by government agencies and private foundations, including co-leading the Wellcome Trust-funded Global Infectious Disease Ethics Collaborative with colleagues from the University of Oxford. He has also launched an oral history project that focuses on the stories of the founding scholars of the field of bioethics as well as a nationally distributed 10-episode bioethics podcast.