Hamburg, David A., 1925-

Variant names

Hide Profile

Psychiatrist, corporation president.

From the description of Reminiscences of David A. Hamburg : oral history, 1996-1998. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 269255329

David A. Hamburg, M.D., has a long history of leadership in biobehavioral research and education, and inquiry into multiple aspects of human conflict. Through his association with Stanford University, the National Academy of Sciences, Harvard University, the Carnegie Corporation and Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Hamburg has worked to reduce the nuclear danger during the Cold War, and to help with winding down the Cold War altogether. In the course of these efforts he has worked with scholars and world leaders to address their attention to prevention of mass violence, both in terms of short-term measures such as preventive diplomacy, and long-term measures such as the building of democratic institutions and promoting equitable socioeconomic development. Dr. Hamburg, in collaboration with his son Eric Hamburg, a filmmaker as well as an attorney, has created a documentary film entitled Preventing Genocide: Practical Steps toward Early Detection and Effective Action, based on his book of the same title. It examines concepts, techniques, policies and practices for the prevention of genocide throughout the world. In the process of creating this documentary, they have collected videotaped interviews with twenty-eight world leaders and eminent scholars; the collection is entitled Pioneers in the Prevention of Mass Violence.

From the description of Pioneers in the prevention of mass violence : digital video interviews, 2008-2009. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754865106

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Born in 1925 in Evansville, Indiana, David Alan Hamburg attended Indiana University and its medical school, receiving his M.D. in 1947. In the 1950s, Hamburg, a psychiatrist, distinguished himself as a pioneering investigator of stress and anxiety beginning at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. (1952-53) and then at the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training at the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago (1953-56). Hamburg continued his research at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA. As chair of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, Hamburg established a new department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, distinguished by its breadth of research on behavioral biology, especially in relation to mental illness. While chief of the adult psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 1958-61), he created one of the nation's first clinical research centers to combine psychological and biological factors in studying depression.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1975, while serving as Reed-Hodgson Professor of Human Biology at Stanford (1972-76), Hamburg was confronted with a crisis that would re-direct his focus from psychiatric research to contemporary social problems. Four of Hamburg’s students, studying primate behavior under the direction of Jane Goodall at a remote research station in Gombe, Tanzania, were abducted by armed rebels from Zaire (now Congo) and held for ransom and other demands. Hamburg immediately flew to Gombe and spent 10 weeks negotiating their release.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED His vivid exposure to violence, disease and poverty during this time prompted him to devote his energies to using science to help meet social needs. In 1975 he became president of the Institute of Medicine, the health policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences, where he developed major initiatives on health and behavior, health promotion and disease prevention, and the health needs of the underserved as well as developing nations. From 1980 to 1983, Hamburg served as director of the university-wide Division of Health Policy Research and Education and John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA., applying his signature cross-disciplinary approach to health policy issues.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After David Hamburg became president of Carnegie Corporation of New York in December 1982, the Corporation sought to mobilize the best scientific and scholarly talent and thinking to address contemporary issues from early childhood to international relations, using a comprehensive inter-disciplinary approach.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED During Hamburg’s tenure as president, the Corporation placed a priority on the education and healthy development of children and adolescents and the preparation of youth for a scientific, technological and knowledge-driven world. Three major study groups were formed to cover the educational and developmental needs of children and youth from birth to age 15: the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development (1986), the Carnegie Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children (1991), and the Carnegie Task Force on Learning in the Primary Grades (1994). Jointly with the Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation also financed the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, whose report, What Matters Most (1996), provided a framework and agenda for teacher education reform across the country. Characteristically these study groups drew on the knowledge generated by the previous Carnegie grant programs and from relevant fields and inspired follow up grantmaking to implement the recommendations. At that time David Hamburg also chaired the Forum on Adolescence, a joint effort of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council to assess adolescent health and development.

In 1984, the Corporation established the Carnegie Commission on Education and the Economy. Through its major publication, A Nation Prepared (1986), the foundation reaffirmed the role of the teacher as the "best hope" for ensuring educational excellence in elementary and secondary education. An outgrowth of that report was the establishment, a year later, of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to consider ways of attracting able candidates to the teaching profession and recognizing and retaining them. At the Corporation's initiative, the American Association for the Advancement of Science issued two groundbreaking reports, Science for All Americans (1989) and Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993), which recommended a common core of learning in science, mathematics, and technology for all citizens and helped set national standards of achievement in these domains.

Hamburg introduced an entirely new focus for the Corporation --- the danger to world peace posed by the superpower confrontation and weapons of mass destruction. The foundation underwrote scientific study of the feasibility of the proposed federal Strategic Defense Initiative and joined the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in supporting the analytic work of a new generation of arms control and nuclear nonproliferation experts. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Corporation grants helped promote the concept of cooperative security among erstwhile adversaries and projects to build democratic institutions in the former Soviet Union and central Europe. An important undertaking was the Prevention of Proliferation Task Force, coordinated under a grant to the Brookings Institution, which inspired the Nunn–Lugar Amendment to the Soviet Threat Reduction Act of 1991 aimed at dismantling Soviet nuclear weapons and reducing proliferation risks. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the Corporation addressed the problems of interethnic and regional conflict and supported projects seeking to diminish the risks of a wider war stemming from civil strife. Two Carnegie commissions, one on Reducing the Nuclear Danger (1990), the other on Preventing Deadly Conflict (1994), together addressed the full range of dangers associated with human conflict and the use of weapons of mass destruction. The Corporation's thrust in Commonwealth Africa, meanwhile, shifted to women’s health and leadership development and the application of science and technology, including new information systems, in fostering research and expertise within indigenous scientific institutions and universities.

Under Hamburg, dissemination achieved even greater primacy in the arsenal of strategic philanthropy. Emphasis was on consolidation and diffusion of the best available knowledge from social science and education research and the use of such research in improving social policy and practice. Major partners in these endeavors were leading institutions that had the capability to influence public thought and action. Hamburg made increasing use of the Corporation’s powers to convene leaders and experts across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries to forge policy consensus and promote collaboration.

In the international security field, Hamburg served on many policy advisory boards, including the Executive Panel for the Chief of Naval Operations, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control, and the U.S.-Soviet Joint Study Group on Crisis Prevention. He was a member of the Defense Policy Board of the Department of Defense and co-chair, with Cyrus Vance, of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. In 2006, Hamburg was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to chair the UN Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.

In science policy, he chaired several national groups, including committees and advisory boards of the Institute of Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation. From 1976 to 1988, he served on the Advisory Committee on Medical Research of the World Health Organization. He was president and board chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 1984 to 1986. The Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government (1988-1993), recommended ways that government at all levels could make more effective use of science and technology in their operations and policies. In 1994, Hamburg was appointed to the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, and in 1996, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

From his background in public health, he brought a preventive orientation to serious problems. Across all of these programs, the common thread, said Hamburg, is the "prevention of rotten outcomes." Hamburg believed that "from child and adolescent development to international relations, the underlying logic is the same: Prevention begins with anticipation, even with long-range foresight, in which research can identify risk factors and point to steps that can be taken to counteract or avoid an undesirable outcome, and pivotal institutions can cooperate in shaping behavior away from risk factors and dangerous directions."

Hamburg served on the boards of Rockefeller University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the American Museum of Natural History, New York City; and the Johann Jacobs Foundation, Zurich. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as author of numerous books and scholarly articles.

From the guide to the David Hamburg papers, 1949-2003., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-,. Reminiscences of Anne Firor Scott : oral history, 2000. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Hamburg, David A., 1925-,. Reminiscences of David A. Hamburg : oral history, 1996-1998. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives biography files, 1855-2007 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Hamburg, David A., 1925-. Pioneers in the prevention of mass violence : digital video interviews, 2008-2009. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Finberg, Barbara D.,. Reminiscences of Barbara D. Finberg : oral history, 1997-1998. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Katchadourian, Herant A. Herant A. Katchadourian papers, 1951-2003. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Carnegie Corporation of New York. Carnegie Corporation of New York Records, 1900-2004. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn American Foundations Oral History Project, 1989-1993 Indiana University, Bloomington. Center for the Study of History and Memory
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998. Terry Sanford Papers, 1926-1996 (bulk 1986-1992) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Freund, Paul A. Paul A. Freund papers. 1918-1993. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Salvador E. Luria Papers, 1923-1992 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf David Hamburg papers, 1949-2003. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allison, Graham T. person
associatedWith Annan, Kofi A. (Kofi Atta) person
associatedWith Bartoli, A. (Andrea) person
associatedWith Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Corporation of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Council on Children. corporateBody
associatedWith Carter, Jimmy, 1924- person
associatedWith Clark, Mary Marshall, person
associatedWith Clinton, Bill, 1946- person
associatedWith Clinton, Hillary Rodham. person
associatedWith Dallaire, Roméo. person
associatedWith Dement, William C., 1928- person
associatedWith Deng, Francis Mading, 1938- person
associatedWith Diamond, Larry Jay. person
associatedWith Drell, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1926- person
associatedWith Evans, Gareth. person
associatedWith Farquhar, John W., 1927- person
associatedWith Finberg, Barbara D., person
associatedWith Goodall, Jane, 1934- person
associatedWith Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931- person
associatedWith Gregorian, Vartan. person
associatedWith Hamburg, Beatrix A. person
associatedWith Hamburg, Eric. person
associatedWith Hamilton, Lee. person
associatedWith Harvard University. Division of Health Policy Research and Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Hearing, Brenda, person
associatedWith Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory corporateBody
associatedWith Institute of Medicine (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Jentleson, Bruce W., 1951- person
associatedWith Katchadourian, Herant A. person
associatedWith Luria, S. E., (Salvador Edward), 1912-1991 person
associatedWith Lute, Jane. person
associatedWith Méndez, Juan E. person
associatedWith National Academies (U.S.). National Academy of Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith Nunn, Sam. person
associatedWith Otunnu, Olara A., 1950- person
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Perry, William, 1947- person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Rubin, Barnett R. person
associatedWith Sachs, Jeffrey. person
associatedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
associatedWith Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998 person
associatedWith Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-, person
associatedWith Sen, Amartya, 1933- person
associatedWith Solana, Javier. person
associatedWith Speedie, David. person
associatedWith Stanford University. corporateBody
associatedWith Tutu, Desmond. person
associatedWith United Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of State. corporateBody
associatedWith Urquhart, Brian. person
associatedWith Williams, Shirley, 1930- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
South Africa.
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Africa, Sub-Saharan
South Africa
United States
Science--Study and teaching
Cold War
Education--Africa, Sub--Saharan
Education--United States
Social sciences--Research
International relations--Research
Child development


Birth 1925





Ark ID: w65b10tz

SNAC ID: 12413693