Former University of Iowa president David Skorton named to Joe Biden transition team

David Skorton — the University of Iowa’s president from 2003-2006 — was tapped to be a part of an Arts and Humanities transition review team for the incoming White House occupant.


Lily Smith

David Skorton (right) answers a question from UI Graduate College dean John Keller during An Evening with David Skorton at Hancher Auditorium on Thursday, Mar. 30, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

Sarah Watson, Executive Editor

Former University of Iowa President David Skorton, who led the UI from 2003-2006, will serve on an Arts and Humanities agencies review team for the Joe Biden Kamala Harris transition team.

He’ll be a part of one of 38 teams charged with reviewing a number of federal agencies ahead of the administration being sworn into office. The Arts and Humanities group are set to review the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Skorton is the current president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which includes all 155 accredited medical schools in the country, and led the Smithsonian as its secretary for four years prior to taking his position at the AAMC in 2019.

During his 26-year tenure at the University of Iowa, Skorton taught as a faculty member specializing in the treatment of people with congenital heart disease and led research on cardiac imaging and computer image processing techniques. He also served terms as vice president for research, vice president for external relations.

Skorton joined the University of Iowa College of Medicine faculty in 1980 and was named an assistant professor of internal medicine the next year. In 1982, he became an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

He left Iowa to become president of Cornell University, a position he held until 2015.

Other prominent Iowans will be a part of the Biden-Harris transition team. The University of Iowa College of Law Dean Kevin Washburn was tapped to lead the U.S. Department of Review transition team, taking leave from his position until December. In the Trump administration, Iowa City native Chris Miller took the position of Acting Secretary of Defense this week after President Trump fired Mark Espy.

The Associated Press projected Biden winning the presidency on Saturday, but Trump hasn’t yet conceded the election. The U.S. General Services Administration, which aids in the presidential transition process, has not recognized Biden as the incoming president, according to CNN, holding back $9.9 million in funding for the transition process.