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Charles J. Dougherty, Ph.D.

Duquesne University President

Charles DoughertyCharles J. Dougherty, Ph.D., was elected president of Duquesne University by its Board of Directors in May 2001. His selection as the 12th president of Duquesne University came with overwhelming support from the campus community and the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, the sponsors of Duquesne University.

Dougherty (b. 1949) is a nationally recognized scholar and expert in health care ethics, and has served on numerous health care advisory commissions and projects. Most recently, Dougherty has worked with the Not-for-Profit Hospital Trustees Project at the Hastings Center and the New York Academy of Medicine, as well as the National Coalition on Catholic Health Care. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association and the Board of Editors at both Creighton University Press and Health Progress. Dougherty has also served as a Commissioner for the State of Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, a government ethics panel.

He is a member of the board of directors of UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he chairs the Ethics Committee, the Senator John Heinz History Center, The Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. He also serves on the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), the President's Committee of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) and the Atlantic 10 Council of Presidents.

Dougherty and other members of the President’s Committee of PCHE received the annual Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the AICUP. He also was named a 2010 Diamond Award winner by the Pittsburgh Business Times. In 2009, Dougherty received the Tree of Life Award from the Pittsburgh Jewish National Fund, the Nelson Mandela Leadership and Diversity Award from the Afrika Yetu organization and was selected as a Leading Pittsburgher by KDKA-Radio. Dougherty received a 2008 Pacesetter Award from Smart Business Pittsburgh in recognition of his contributions as an outstanding business and community leader. He also was recognized with the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Jerome Bettis Foundation for his work to establish a partnership between Duquesne University and The Bus Stops Here Foundation.

Dougherty has published extensively on the subject of ethics and health care. His publications on the subject include five books, two of them published by Oxford University Press, and more than 50 scholarly articles.

He received his master's and doctorate degrees in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1973 and 1975; he received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in 1971.

Dougherty came to Duquesne from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., a Catholic university sponsored by the Jesuits. He served as academic vice president from 1995 to 2001 and as acting president of Creighton in the summer of 2000. Dougherty joined the Creighton faculty in 1975, and chaired the department of philosophy from 1981 to 1989. He also has held faculty appointments in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing, and served as the first director of the Creighton Center for Health Policy and Ethics from 1988 to 1995.

Born in New York City on June 28, 1949, Dougherty has been educated in Catholic schools all his life, including St. Anthony's High School in Huntington, N.Y. The oldest of four children, Dougherty was the first in his family to attend college.

Dougherty and his wife, Sandra, who recently retired as a judge on the Nebraska District Court in Douglas County, have two children: a daughter who is a Notre Dame and Georgetown University graduate working as a lawyer for Akin Gump in Washington, D.C.; and a son, a Creighton and University of Nebraska at Omaha alum who works for Lutheran Family Services in Omaha.