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No. 9: Ronald Daniels


daniels-ronaldRonald Daniels became the 14th president of Johns Hopkins University in 2009.

Hopkins has won more competitively allocated federal research funding than any other university in the United States for over 38 years, and under Daniels’ tenure, he’s concentrated on interdisciplinary collaboration.

That’s led to a focus on addressing some of society’s most significant challenges, including realizing the promise of precision medi-cine to respond to the needs of 21st century cities.

With the support of alumni, including Michael Bloomberg, Daniels started the Bloomberg Distinguished Professors program to recruit 50 scholars from around the world to hold joint appointments in two or more divisions of the university.

He also led notable Hopkins initiatives like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, which seeks to strengthen civic en-gagement and encourage civic dialogue; the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs; the William H. Miller Department of Philoso-phy; and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

Daniels has also been a champion of reducing the barriers to higher education for minority students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. After he became president, he committed Hopkins to enhancing its financial aid program to become “need-blind.” And thanks to a $1.8 billion donation from Michael Bloomberg for student financial aid, the school is now permanently need-blind and “no-loan.”

He’s also fostered a universitywide vision for innovation. The school’s ecosystem now facilitates startup activity through four innovation hubs that contain more than 37,000 square feet of incubation space near its Baltimore campuses.

Daniels is a legal scholar who earned a Master of Law degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Toronto, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2015, he received a Carnegie Corporation of New York Academic Leadership award, and was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2016.

This profile is part of The Daily Record's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at or in our digital edition.