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Kurt L. Schmoke Elected as HHMI Trustee

Summary

Dean of the Howard University Law School elected HHMI Trustee.

Kurt L. Schmoke, Dean of the Howard University School of Law, has been elected a Trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is one of 10 Trustees of the Institute, a medical research organization dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the life sciences.

Schmoke, 55, is an attorney who has dedicated much of his life to public service at all levels of government, including three terms as mayor of Baltimore.

A 1971 graduate of Yale University, Schmoke attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and received his law degree in 1976 from Harvard University. After spending a year in private practice, he joined President Jimmy Carter's White House domestic policy staff in 1977 and then returned to his native city of Baltimore to become an assistant U.S. Attorney in 1978. Schmoke was elected State's Attorney for Baltimore City in 1982.

Schmoke came to national prominence in 1987 when he became the first African American to be elected mayor of Baltimore. During three terms in office, Schmoke focused on improving the city's school system and on broad economic development programs, with a particular emphasis on expanding home ownership and job opportunities.

Schmoke joined the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in 1999 after declining to seek a fourth term as mayor. He became dean of the Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 2002. A respected and thoughtful advisor to a number of educational and other organizations, Schmoke has served as senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, the university's governing body, and is currently a Trustee of Tuskegee University.

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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is dedicated to discovering and disseminating new knowledge in the basic life sciences. HHMI grounds its research programs on the conviction that scientists of exceptional talent and imagination will make fundamental contributions of lasting scientific value and benefit to mankind when given the resources, time, and freedom to pursue challenging questions. The Institute prizes intellectual daring and seeks to preserve the autonomy of its scientists as they pursue their research.

A nonprofit medical research organization, HHMI was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist. The Institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the largest philanthropies in the world with an endowment of $12.8 billion at the close of its 2004 fiscal year. HHMI spent $573 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2004.

Howard University is one of 48 U.S. private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive universities and comprises 12 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar, six Fulbright Scholars and nine Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world.

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Jim Keeley
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