Past Director

Abraham Flexner


More than any other individual, it was Abraham Flexner who conceived and developed the idea that found expression as the Institute for Advanced Study, serving as founding Director from 1930 to 1939. A prominent figure in American education reform, Flexner had a profound impact on many areas of American education, especially medical education, where his influence can be seen even today in the training of medical professionals, the culture of the physician, and the relationship between medical research and practice, but the Institute remains at the heart of his legacy.

Dates at IAS
Harvard University A.M., 1906
John Hopkins University B.A., 1886
Taylorian Lectureship, University of Oxford 1928
Rhodes Memorial Lectureship, University of Oxford 1927-1928
Commander, Legion of Honor 1926
Honorary degrees from many institutions, including Swarthmore College, University of Berlin, University of Brussels, Princeton University, and Johns Hopkins University
General Education Board 1913–1928 Director, Division of Studies and Medical Education 1925–28, Secretary 1917–25; Assistant Secretary 1913–17
Mr. Flexner’s School 1890–1905 Founder