Shirley Tilghman is the nineteenth president of Princeton University, and is the first woman to hold the position. Tilghman served on the Princeton faculty for fifteen years before being named President. A native of Canada, Tilghman was educated at Queen's University and Temple University. She is a renowned molecular biologist, known particularly for her pioneering research in mammalian developmental genetics. She served as a member of the National Research Council's committee that set the blueprint for the U.S. effort in the Human Genome Project and was one of the founding members of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project Initiative for the National Institutes of Health.

In 2002, Tilghman was one of five winners of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.  In the following year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, and in 2007, she was awarded the Genetics Society of America Medal for outstanding contributions to her field.  Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the Royal Society of London. She chairs the Association of American Universities and serves as a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and as a director of Google Inc.

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I am in favor of welcoming students to the United States to study. And I am in favor – once they have received their education – of giving them every opportunity to stay in this country and contribute to the well being and the economic prosperity of the United States. Not only do I think that’s a humane policy. I actually think it’s a politically and economically sensible policy; because if you look at the wave upon wave of immigrants who have come to the United States since the 19th century and have stayed and made this country great, this is really a great tradition. And I think if we turn our back on it, we do so at our peril. Recorded on: 8/7/07