Ronald J. Daniels
Johns Hopkins University
Ronald J. Daniels has been a champion of community engagement since he became president of Johns Hopkins University, the nation’s first research university, in 2009. Last fall, Daniels talked about the challenges facing Baltimore and renewed the university’s commitment to improving the city and the lives of Baltimoreans during the Renewing Our Communities conference, which was sponsored in part by the university.
“As president of Johns Hopkins, now entering my 10th year, I am keenly aware of Baltimore’s immense resources and potential as well as its trials,” he said. “I am equally aware of the role Johns Hopkins has played. Indeed, our university and medical system’s history is inextricably linked — from our founding — to this city we have called home for 142 years. And as I have often said, Johns Hopkins is not just in, but truly — and determinedly — of this city.”
Daniels said the university, as one of Baltimore’s anchor institutions, has a responsibility to the city and is committed to its ongoing community partnerships with many stakeholders, such as a high school-to-jobs pipeline program in one troubled neighborhood in the city.
Daniels also highlighted real estate development funds, the operation of a new public school, the creation of a new park and new housing in East Baltimore, and the creation and expansion of an economic inclusion program established around 27 Baltimore-area institutions that are working to commit to building, buying and hiring locally.
“We are committed to this city because we know that place matters,” Daniels said. “Place matters because it determines opportunity and determines longevity. In Baltimore City, residents of our most affluent neighborhoods have a life expectancy almost 20 years longer than residents of our most disadvantaged communities.
“Our city remains in the grip of stubbornly persistent and deeply felt challenges: a lack of economic opportunity, limited educational opportunities and concentrated crime that rends our communities and annihilates the futures of so many of our children and communities,” he said. “But Baltimore is also a city of extraordinary creativity, optimism and unwavering commitment to the communities of which we are a part.”
Before coming to Johns Hopkins, Daniels was provost and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, and dean and James M. Tory Professor of Law at the University of Toronto. He has also been a visiting professor and Coca-Cola World Fellow at Yale Law School and John M. Olin Visiting Fellow at Cornell Law School.
Leadership is not only the commitment to a goal, but the ability to motivate those who share that goal to achieve it – and empowering people to be a part of something larger than themselves.”