C. Michael Armstrong has been elected chairman of
Medicine, effective July 1. The retired chairman of
Comcast, AT&T and Hughes Electronics, Armstrong earlier
spent more than three decades with IBM, rising through the
ranks to become chairman of the IBM World Trade Corp.
"I can think of no more fitting individual to lead the
board of Johns Hopkins Medicine," says Edward D. Miller,
dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins
Medicine. "Mike Armstrong has great respect for our patient
care, education and research missions, and has endowed the
C. Michael Armstrong Professorship in Medicine to help us
continue our leadership role in stem cell research. We can
benefit enormously from his business acumen, including his
experience in the international realm, as we work to
translate the discoveries of our scientists into treatments
that should transform 21st-century medicine."
The professorship endowed by Armstrong is held by John
Gearhart, recognized as one of the two scientists who
discovered pluripotent stem cells. "I believe strongly that
stem cell research is both acceptable and necessary,"
Armstrong says. "It's acceptable because today we have an
in vitro embryonic stem cell supply that we are discarding
and destroying. It's necessary because embryonic stem cells
are such a critical source of differentiation, and a tool
to advance understanding."
While acknowledging that the issue remains a delicate
one politically, Armstrong maintains that "political
reticence isn't a moral excuse for inaction. Progress
should not be impeded by politics. With respect to
Hopkins, I think that our medical culture of discovery and
our commitment to alleviate suffering require us to be
An active supporter of higher education, Armstrong
also is a trustee of The Johns Hopkins University and a
visiting professor of the Practice of Management at the MIT
Sloan School of Management. He has been chairman of the
board of visitors of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Former chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council,
the President's Export Council and the FCC's Network
Reliability and Interoperability Council, Armstrong is a
former member of the Business Council and the Business
Roundtable, where he served as chairman of the Homeland
Security Task Force. He is a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations and the Telluride Foundation and serves
on the board of directors of Citigroup, Hospital
Corporation of America, Parsons, Information Handling
Services and Schroder Ventures U.S. advisory board. Comcast
has created the position of director emeritus for him.