page image

Amy Gutmann - Commissioner

Since becoming president of the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, Amy Gutmann has been widely recognized for her transformative leadership, including increasing Penn's diversity, interdisciplinary excellence, and civic engagement both locally and globally. 

The first in her family to attend college, Dr. Gutmann has made Penn the nation's largest university offering all-grant financial aid that meets the full need of undergraduate students. Under her leadership, Penn has more than doubled the number of students from low-income, middle-income, and first-generation college families.

Penn is Philadelphia's largest private employer and preeminent healthcare provider, with an economic impact of $14 billion annually in Pennsylvania. In 2016, the University opened Pennovation Works on 23 acres of abandoned industrial land, creating an innovation ecosystem that partners with industry and entrepreneurs to rapidly move research discoveries from Penn's 12 schools into the marketplace.

The 2017 announcement of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, led by Vice President Joseph Biden, along with the 2016 opening of the Perry World House on campus and the 2015 opening of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, mark major new university-wide initiatives that promote global solutions and bring the world to Penn and Penn to the world.

Dr. Gutmann has continued her pathbreaking scholarship on democracy, education, and practical ethics as Penn's president, publishing her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It  (with Dennis Thompson). From 2009 to 2017, Dr. Gutmann chaired President Barack Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Dr. Gutmann graduated from Radcliffe College of Harvard University. She earned her master’s degree in political science from the London School of Economics, and her doctorate in that subject from Harvard.

Before her appointment at Penn in 2004, Dr. Gutmann was a faculty member at Princeton University, where she was the founding director of the University Center for Human Values, an eminent multidisciplinary center that supports teaching, scholarship, and public discussion of ethics and human values. She subsequently served as dean of the faculty, senior advisor to the president, and provost.



University of Pennsylvania