Berman Receives Transformational Gift

June 19, 2018

Dr. Alexander Levi, a trustee emeritus of Johns Hopkins University and chair of the Berman Institute of Bioethics’ national advisory board, and his wife Vicki have made a gift of $15 million to support the education and training of future leaders in the field of bioethics. Dr. Levi, a clinical psychologist based in New York, is a longtime supporter of the Berman Institute and has previously supported post-doctoral bioethicists through the Hecht-Levi Fellowship Program.

“This remarkable gift, one of the largest ever made to any bioethics program, will both enable the Berman Institute to attract and support the most promising students and fellows in the United States and from around the world and honor our founding director, Ruth Faden,” said Jeffrey Kahn, Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. “The Levi family’s generosity will dramatically expand our capacity to prepare leaders who will take on the most pressing and morally challenging bioethics issues of the day, and who will work to effect change when and where it is most needed.”

The gift will establish the Ruth R. Faden Endowment for Education in Bioethics. Named in honor of the Berman Institute’s founding director, the endowment will provide ongoing permanent support to fully fund the Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, offer tuition support for students in the Berman Institute’s Master of Bioethics program, research and conference travel support for students in the doctoral track in Health Policy and Ethics, and support leadership and training for selected highly qualified fellows and students through the Ruth Faden Scholars Program. Ruth Faden Scholars will receive leadership development training and other opportunities over the course of their participation in the program.

“No words could adequately express what Alex and Vicki’s decision to name this extraordinary endowment in my honor means. As they know, nothing is dearer to my professional heart than the training of future generations,” said Dr. Faden. “The Levis’ incredibly generous gift ensures that the Berman Institute will be able to continue to educate, in perpetuity, our field’s future leaders. I cannot imagine a more farsighted contribution, not only to our institution, but to bioethics and to what bioethics can contribute to the world.”

The gift continues the long legacy of substantial support that the Hecht-Levi family has provided Johns Hopkins University for more than half a century.

“I’ve been involved with the Berman Institute for a long time, and I feel like it’s given back more to me than I could ever give to it. Vicki and I wanted to find a way to honor Ruth’s lifetime of service, to creating the Berman Institute, to bioethics at Hopkins, and to the field,” said Dr. Levi. “This gift will create new leaders who will change the world in ways we can’t yet foresee.”

One of the largest bioethics centers in the world, the Berman Institute is Johns Hopkins University’s home for collaborative scholarship and teaching on the ethics of clinical practice, public health, and biomedical science. Since 1995, the Institute has worked with governmental agencies, nongovernmental and private sector organizations to address and resolve ethical issues. Its 35 faculty members are drawn from the Johns Hopkins School of MedicineSchool of Nursing, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. In partnership with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Berman Institute leads one of the nation’s premier PhD programs in Bioethics and Health Policy in addition to its newly created Master of Bioethics graduate program.