Judith Rodin, PhD


President of the Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Judith Rodin has been president of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2005. She was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to lead an Ivy League institution, and provost of Yale University.

During Dr. Rodin’s first four years at the Foundation, she recalibrated its focus for the 21st century. Today, the Foundation helps ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while developing stronger resilience in the face of risks, affirming its mission, since 1913, to promote the well-being of humanity. Foundation initiatives include efforts to mobilize an agricultural revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform more equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, ensure access to affordable, high-quality health systems in developing countries, and help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of climate change. Dr. Rodin is the first woman to serve as the Foundation's president in its over 100 year history.

At the University of Pennsylvania, she presided over an unprecedented decade of growth and progress that transformed the institution, its campus, and community. Under her leadership, Penn doubled its research funding and tripled both its annual fundraising and the size of its endowment. It engineered a comprehensive, award-winning, and internationally acclaimed neighborhood revitalization program in West Philadelphia. The university also attracted record numbers of undergraduate applicants, welcoming its most selective classes in history, while climbing from 16th to fourth in the leading national rankings. In 2004, Dr. Rodin received both the Philadelphia Award and William Penn Award. In 2006, she was awarded the Pennsylvania Society’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. She was the first person to receive all three awards, a recognition of her tremendous impact on the city and commonwealth.

At Yale University, Dr. Rodin chaired the Department of Psychology and served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences before becoming Provost. As a faculty member for 22 years, she helped pioneer the fields of behavioral medicine and health psychology. She is widely recognized for her ground-breaking research in obesity, eating disorders, aging, and women’s health—work that earned her both the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Early Career Award in 1977 and its Distinguished Lifetime Contribution Award in 2005.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She participates in the annual World Economic Forum and serves on several boards, including those of the Brookings Institution, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Global Humanitarian Forum (founded by Kofi Annan), and Clinton Global Initiative’s poverty alleviation track. She is also a director of AMR Corporation, Citigroup Inc. and Comcast.

Dr. Rodin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and has since received 17 honorary doctorate degrees. She has authored more than 200 academic articles and has written or co-written 12 books, including her most recent, The University & Urban Renewal: Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets.

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