The cultural anthropologist most in the news in 2012 was Jim Yong Kim. Kim was trained as both a physician and medical anthropologist, one of the first students to go through Harvard’s joint Ph.D./M.D. program. Later he became chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and then president of Dartmouth College from 2009 to 2012. Along with Paul Farmer, he is co-founder of Partners In Health.
When President Barack Obama nominated Kim for the presidency of the World Bank, policy insiders expressed widespread dismay, with much commentary pointing to his being an anthropologist as a discrediting factor for the position.
After his appointment was approved, however, talk of his anthropological credentials died down. In other words, a connection with anthropology was taken as a weakness by his opponents. Now that he is president of the World Bank, his identity as an anthropologist has been quietly erased.
Dr. Kim, president of the World Bank, physician and medical anthropologist, is anthropologyworks’ anthropologist of 2012.