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President Obama Selects Professor Allen for Key Bioethics Post

April 08, 2010

President Barack Obama has appointed University of Pennsylvania Deputy Dean and Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy Anita L. Allen to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. According to the White House press announcement on the appointment of Professor Allen and other Commission members:

The Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. It will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner. These candidates will join the current Chair, Amy Gutmann, and Vice-Chair, James Wagner, as Members on the Commission.

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have decided to dedicate their talent and experience to this important Commission. I look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years.”

The White House announcement continues:

Anita L. Allen is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also serves as Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs of the school, and is Senior Fellow in the Bioethics Department, School of Medicine. A distinguished scholar of privacy law and practical ethics, Ms. Allen is recognized for her work on confidentiality in medicine, genetics and research, racial justice, and women’s health. She recently sat on the Executive Committee of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. In Philadelphia, Ms. Allen serves on the boards of the Maternity Care Coalition and the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. Allen served on the original National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and its Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Working Group in the 1990s.  She is presently  on the Board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health, collaborates with Penn’s Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Mental Health, and has written about how American families cope with addiction and mental disorders. Ms. Allen began her academic career an Assistant Professor at Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and was the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at Georgetown Law Center. Ms. Allen holds both a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Her B.A. is from New College, Florida.

Read the full announcement at