Shannon E. French, Ph.D., has been named director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence and Inamori Professor of Ethics at Case Western Reserve University. She begins her new position on September 8.
French was most recently the associate chair of the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, where she had been a member of the civilian faculty since 1997. At Case Western Reserve, she'll serve as a tenured faculty member in the philosophy department in the College of Arts and Sciences in addition to her leadership duties at the Inamori Center .
"I am honored to have the opportunity to play a role in realizing Dr. Inamori's vision to promote moral progress worldwide," said French. "And due to the depth and breadth of the talent pool here, Case Western Reserve University is the perfect setting to bring together those who are and those who wish to become global ethical leaders."
French succeeds Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D. (MED '66), who is returning to Syracuse, N.Y., and SUNY Upstate Medical Center after serving as interim president of Case Western Reserve for the 2006-07 academic year and as director of the Inamori Center since May 7, 2007.
"I am delighted with the appointment of Shannon French as Inamori Professor of Ethics and Director of the Inamori Center," Eastwood said. "Her international experience and friendships, her skills in leadership ethics, her broad background in philosophy and multiple ethical disciplines, her ability to communicate effectively with students, faculty, and other constituents on campus and around the world, and, of course, her enthusiasm all combine to make her ideally suited to lead the Inamori Center."
French's research and scholarly interests are primarily in the area of military ethics, but also include leadership ethics, professional ethics, moral psychology, biomedical and environmental ethics. She has contributed articles and chapters on present-day conduct of war issues such as defining terrorism, the use of torture, warrior transitions and the moral responsibility of leaders not to erode values that provide the foundation for restraint and limit the awful scope of war. Her 2003 book, The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values, Past and Present, features a forward by Senator John McCain.
Currently working on her second book, French has published numerous other works and is an associate editor for the Journal of Military Ethics and the Encyclopedia of Global Justice.
French has presented papers at prestigious international conferences around the globe. In 2004, she helped design and present four-day training seminars on moral reasoning and ethical advisement for the U.S. Navy's Chaplain Corps at Navy and Marine Corps bases around the United States and in Italy and Japan. The success of that program resulted in the development and presentation of a similar series of seminars on the subject of character development in 2006.
French received her bachelor's degree in philosophy, classical studies and history from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1990. She was recognized in 1990 as one of the 20 "Best and Brightest College Students in America" by USA TODAY. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University before joining the Naval Academy faculty.
The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence was established with a generous $10 million gift from Dr. Kazuo Inamori and the Inamori Foundation of Kyoto, Japan. Its initiatives will advance Dr. Inamori's philosophy of "pursuing what is right for humankind" and examine such pressing issues as those posed by rapidly developing technologies and science that have seemingly outpaced ethical considerations of their uses. On Sept. 4, the Inamori Center will present the inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize to Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and leader of the Human Genome Project.
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