david lawrence

KGI Appoints Former Kaiser CEO as New Dean of Medical School

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a member of The Claremont Colleges, announced the appointment of Dr. David Lawrence as the KGI School of Medicine Dean. Lawrence succeeds Dr. J. Mario Molina, who resigned from his Founding Dean role to pursue other opportunities.

“We appreciate the time and effort that Dr. Molina put toward the KGI School of Medicine through his six months here,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said. “As our fundraising campaign expands, we are thrilled that Dr. Lawrence is assuming responsibility for charting a bold vision for the medical school.”

While serving as the CEO and Chairman of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals from 1991 to 2002, Lawrence focused the nation’s attention on the issue of patient safety and the need for reform in healthcare delivery systems. Lawrence has served on the KGI Board of Trustees since 2019. He retired from Kaiser Permanente in 2002 after his 10-year tenure as CEO and Chairman.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the KGI School of Medicine as we rethink how medical care will be organized and delivered in the future,” Lawrence said.

“Developing an innovative curriculum and recruiting the right students, faculty, and staff will position KGI’s medical school as a leader in the preparation of future healthcare workers.”

Lawrence and Schuster first conceived of a KGI medical school in 2016. In May 2018, the KGI Board of Trustees approved the proposal to develop the school. The board based its decision on a feasibility study by strategic consultant Tripp Umbach, which concluded that a medical school at KGI would help meet the demand for more primary care physicians in Southern California.

Philanthropic outreach is the current focus of the KGI School of Medicine leadership team. Once the funding for faculty development and facilities is in place, KGI will begin its application for LCME accreditation.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente in 1981, Lawrence worked in Public Health and Human Services in Multnomah County, OR; on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the School of Medicine; as an advisor to the Ministry of Health of Chile; and as a Peace Corps Physician in the Dominican Republic and Washington, DC.

Lawrence is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the AOA Physician Honor Society. He is the author of From Chaos to Care: The Promise of Team-Based Medicine (Perseus, 2002). His book, Best Care; Best Future: A Guide For Healthcare Leaders, published in 2014 by Second River Publishing, received the “2015 Book of the Year” award from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He was a member of the boards of CellWorks, MedECube, and Motiv8, an advisor to the chief executive officers of SomaLogic and Medial/EarlySign, and associated with Artiman Ventures. He has served on the boards of Hewlett Packard, its spin-off company Agilent Technologies, McKesson Corp, PGE Corp, and Raffles Medical Group (Singapore); and as a Trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of the RAND Health Advisory Board.

Lawrence received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, his MD from the University of Kentucky, and his Master of Public Health from the University of Washington. He completed his Residency in General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington and is Board Certified in General Preventive Medicine.

He has received honorary degrees from Amherst College, the University of Kentucky, and Colgate University. He is a member of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health Hall of Fame and has been named “Distinguished Alumnus” by the University of Kentucky, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.