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News Release

Joslin Names Ranch C. Kimball, Former Romney Chief Economic Advisor and Distinguished Business Leader, as Seventh President

BOSTON — January 19, 2007 — Ranch C. Kimball, a distinguished leader in business who served as Secretary of Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under former Governor Mitt Romney, has been appointed the chief executive officer and seventh president of the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center. Kevin E. Conley, Chair of the Joslin Diabetes Center Board of Trustees, announced the appointment, following the Board’s unanimous approval. Kimball will assume the post effective February 1, 2007.

Kimball was selected following an international search conducted over five months by a committee of representatives from the institution, the Joslin Diabetes Center Board, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

Located in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, the Joslin Diabetes Center is the world’s largest diabetes research center, diabetes clinic, and provider of diabetes education.  Founded in 1898 by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., the Joslin is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and clinically affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Kimball will succeed C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., who in September announced his intention to step down as President to pursue his passion for research and new projects that can further our knowledge and work toward prevention and cure of diabetes. Dr. Kahn has served in major leadership roles at Joslin for 25 years and served as Executive Vice President and President for more than 11 years.  Dr. Kahn was instrumental in assembling the broadest-based diabetes research team in the world and lifted the Joslin to a new level nationally and internationally. 

Kimball brings to Joslin a distinguished record in state government where, among other accomplishments, he was responsible for attracting major biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms to establish operations in Massachusetts.  He has a demonstrated ability to build strong connections between state government, business and academic medical organizations for the purpose of finding new and innovative support for biomedical research.  In 2006, he received the national Biotech Industry Organization’s award for top state executive in the country. As Governor Romney’s chief economic leader and advisor, Kimball’s responsibilities included the oversight of 22 agencies, four cabinet secretaries and more than 2,500 employees ranging from those at the Department of Labor, the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Business & Technology, to the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation. In 2004, Kimball created the “Business Resource Team,” the Commonwealth’s one-stop model for businesses seeking to grow in the state. 

Widely known and respected in the business community, Kimball led major reforms in improving Massachusetts’ economic development and achieved a long record of legislative success.  Reflecting his broad impact, Governor Deval Patrick noted, “Ranch was a great servant of the Commonwealth and is a superb choice for the Joslin Diabetes Center.”

"Ranch Kimball is known for his strategic thinking and get-it-done approach and most importantly, the ability to conceive and execute sweeping initiatives," said Chairman Conley, who is also President & CEO of Conley & Company. He is the ideal person to lead Joslin through a series of new opportunities so it can grow rapidly to meet the epidemic of diabetes head-on.”

“Diabetes is the growing healthcare epidemic of our time, and its consequences extract a terrible human cost,” said Kimball. “I am here to help the wonderful staff of the world’s leading diabetes center make an even more significant impact on this terrible epidemic that touches so many people in such personal ways.”

Kimball’s appointment has drawn supportive response from members of the Boston academic, medical, business and government communities:

“Ranch Kimball brings to the leadership of the Joslin Diabetes Center not only extensive experience in management and public policy but also a deep understanding of the role that medicine plays in our lives, society, and economy,” said Susan Hockfield, Ph.D., President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Given his strong record of commitment to research and innovation, I know that he will work to ensure Joslin’s continued preeminence as a resource for our region, the nation, and the world.”

"I'm very excited that Ranch Kimball will be leading the Joslin," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said. "He is one of the city's most respected and well-known business leaders, and it's a real success for the Joslin to have him as their CEO. Ranch has a proven track record at getting the most difficult things done while keeping a large coalition happy and engaged. He was a real star in the Romney administration, and he also has earned respect and friends across the board in both parties throughout the state."

“Ranch’s genuine enthusiasm for biomedical research and collaboration will make him a superb leader of the Joslin,” said Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“Ranch is an outstanding choice for President of Joslin Diabetes Center,” said Jack Connors, Chairman of Hill Holliday and Chairman of the Board of Partners Healthcare. “The Joslin has a great heritage and now, with Ranch’s expertise in leadership, life sciences and his demonstrated ability to build relationships between legislative, business and academic communities, the Joslin will thrive and prosper.”

"We look forward to working closely with Ranch and his colleagues at the Joslin to support the important missions of advancement of education and research in the field of diabetes and related conditions," says Raphael Dolin, M.D., Harvard Medical School Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs.

Kimball is Chair of Mass Development and serves on the boards of several non-profits, including the Museum of Science, Wheelock College, the Museum of Fine Arts and WGBH-TV. Previously, Kimball spent 25 years in the private sector helping businesses grow.  He ran a private equity firm for Kissinger McLarty Associates and was a partner at Boston Consulting Group. Kimball received an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University in 1980 and lives in Brookline with his wife and two sons.

Outgoing President C. Ronald Kahn, M.D.

Dr. Kahn, who served as Joslin’s Research Director for more than 16 years prior to becoming president in 2000, will remain very active at Joslin. In addition to focusing on his research, he will serve as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and continue to pursue academic affairs at Harvard Medical School where he is the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine.

"It has been a special privilege to work with Ron Kahn over the last ten years," said Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine. "He has been a superb leader while maintaining an extraordinary career in research."

Under Dr. Kahn’s leadership, Joslin more than doubled its budget from $45 million to almost $100 million, the research program grew more than 12-fold, and the Center opened its first international affiliate, located in Bahrain, where diabetes impacts more than 25 percent of the population, and another affiliate in Canada.

An internationally recognized diabetes researcher, Dr. Kahn’s research over the past three decades has literally defined the field of insulin signal transduction and mechanisms of altered signaling in disease. He also has been a pioneer in studies of obesity and the genetics of type 2 diabetes, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of diabetes and new targets for the treatment and prevention of the disease. He has been the recipient of numerous international awards and chaired a key Congressionally appointed committee that recommended federal diabetes research funding priorities.