Established in 2000 by the Levi family in memory of Robert H. Levi and in honor of Ryda H. Levi

Image Credit: Bob Stockfield ROBERT H. LEVI, A&S 1936, trustee of both the university and hospital, was a leader in fundraising at Hopkins beginning in the 1970s. He was described by former Hopkins President Milton S. Eisenhower as "one of the wisest men I have ever met." RYDA H. LEVI was internationally known for her ongoing support of art and education. Mr. and Mrs. Levi donated the funds and art for the establishment of the Baltimore Museum of Art sculpture garden. In 1985, the west wing of Mudd Hall on the Homewood campus was dedicated to the Levis for their extraordinary devotion and generosity to the university. In 1997, two years after his death, the Robert H. Levi Leadership Program in Bioethics and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bioethics Institute was established in Mr. Levi's memory by the Hecht-Levi Foundation. The program includes a biannual symposium on pressing ethical issues in medicine and health policy.

The Levi Professorship will be held by a faculty member in the Bloomberg School of Public Health who serves on the core faculty of the Bioethics Institute, a joint initiative of the schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. The institute is dedicated to the study of complex moral and policy issues in biomedical science, health care, and health policy. Its mission is to educate leaders in bioethics; to promote research at the intersection of ethics, law, medicine and science; and to provide policy advice to the government and the private sector.


"He was interested in charting courses that considered the moral dimension as well as the practical."
Alexander H. Levi, son of Robert and Ryda


In August 2011, JEFFREY KAHN, SPH 1988, was appointed as a professor in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Professor Kahn was director and professor in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, positions he held from 1996-2011.

He works on a range of bioethics issues, exploring the intersection of ethics and health/science policy, including research ethics, ethics and public health, and ethical issues in leading-edge biomedical technologies. He has published three books and over 100 articles in the bioethics and medical literature.

His education includes a BA from UCLA (molecular biology), PhD from Georgetown University (philosophy [bioethics]), and MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Kahn serves on numerous state and federal advisory panels, including committees of the Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and others. He is an elected fellow of the Hastings Center, and speaks frequently across the United States and around the world. From 1998-2002 he wrote the bi-weekly column “Ethics Matters” on, and was founding president of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors, an office he held from 2006-2010.

He and his wife Orlee have two wonderful sons, Ben and Danny.