Richard M. Knapp, 65MA, 68PhD, is widely celebrated for his distinguished career as an advocate for academic medicine and a problem solver for some of the nation's most pressing health care and medical educational issues.
Raised in Torrington, Connecticut, Knapp received his bachelor of arts degree from Marietta College in Ohio, and went on to earn his master of arts (in 1965) and his doctorate (1968) degrees in hospital and health administration from the UI College of Public Health. He then joined the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC, launching a career that spanned 40 years and culminated in his role as executive vice president from 1994 until 2008.
Throughout his time with the AAMC—guided by an unfailing moral compass, uncommon political finesse, and the respect of his peers, who regarded him as the "dean" of Washington's healthcare advocates—Knapp stood as a champion for medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health policy matters affecting medical education and research.
Under his leadership, the AAMC evolved into a highly respected and trusted source of information regarding public policy issues and their impact on health systems, particularly those devoted to the education and training of medical professionals. He worked closely with the American Hospital Association (AHA) in developing a unified voice for hospitals, medical schools, and the communities they serve. Such efforts included the creation of the AAMC Medicare and Medicaid Special Action Committee, an initiative that helped ensure the financial stability of teaching hospitals in order to pursue their missions of high quality patient care, education, and research.
Knapp has authored a number of significant publications and served on numerous committees and study groups for major health organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the AHA, and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. He has served on prestigious editorial boards, including Health Care Management Review and INQUIRY and also chaired the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding.
A past chair of the National Association for Biomedical Research, he has held the offices of secretary and treasurer in the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions. In 1997, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and, in 2009, the AHA recognized his exemplary career with its Board of Trustees Award.
As a resident of Reston, Virginia, Knapp volunteered his time for more than 20 years as a member of the board of directors of the non-profit Inova Health System, serving as chair from 1999 to 2003.
Knapp also applies his strong ethic of service on behalf of the University of Iowa. He is a founding member of the College of Public Health's external advisory board and former president of the Department of Health Management and Policy's alumni board. In 2005, the college awarded Knapp an Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of his contributions.
With his record of professional achievements, unwavering leadership, and integrity, the University of Iowa is proud to recognize Richard M. Knapp as one of its most distinguished alumni.
Knapp is a life member of the UI Alumni Association.