2017 Honorary Degree Recipient

Honorary degrees have been a tradition in American higher education for over 300 years. They are conferred honoris causa, "for the sake of honor." A distinction of high order, Carleton has always awarded honorary doctorate degrees sparingly and selects its recipients with great care and with the assent of both the faculty and Board of Trustees, seeking to honor those who have achieved eminence in their own profession or who have rendered distinguished service to society.  We are very proud that at this year’s Commencement ceremony Carleton College will confer an honorary doctorate degree upon Kathy L. Hudson. 

Kathy L. Hudson

Kathy L. Hudson, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hudson leads the science policy, legislation, communication, and outreach efforts of the NIH and serves as a senior advisor to the NIH director. She is responsible for creating major new strategic and scientific initiatives for NIH and is currently leading the planning and creation of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. Hudson was a key architect of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the NIH BRAIN Initiative. She directs the agency’s efforts to advance biomedical research through policy development, public and stakeholder communication and education, and innovative projects and partnerships.

Hudson’s professional experience includes serving as the NIH Chief of Staff; Acting Deputy Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH; the Assistant Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH; and the founder and Director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at John Hopkins University. Also at Hopkins, Hudson was an Associate Professor in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Institute of Genetic Medicine, and Department of Pediatrics.

Hudson holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College.

Kathy L. Hudson will be awarded the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa. 


The honorary degree criteria and process are described here.