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John Kenney Jr., MD Lifetime Achievement Award and Lectureship

Honoring a leader

Dr. John Kenney Jr. was the first African American member of the AAD and the 1995 recipient of the Master of Dermatology Award.

The John Kenney Jr., MD Lifetime Achievement Award and Lectureship was created in 2021 to recognize outstanding dermatologists, who throughout their career have been committed to improving the treatment of patients from underserved populations including skin of color patients.

The selected lecturer will receive a cash award of $10,000 and present a lecture of approximately 30 minutes at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Plenary session.

If you have questions, please contact Cari Lamberg at clamberg@aad.org.

Apply for the award

Access an online application form to submit a nominee for the award.

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  • Criteria
  • Selection process
  • Past recipients
  • About Dr. Kenney
    • The individual selected must be a dermatologist and member of the AAD.

    • The recipient should be an acknowledged, expert clinician focused on improving access and outcomes in skin of color patients and under-served populations.

    • The emphasis must be in selecting a person who has been a practicing clinical dermatologist (including dermatopathologists and dermatologic surgeons) regardless of their area of practice.

    • The recipient should have a significant career of accomplishments and contributions to improving care for skin of color patients and/or underserved populations.

    • The recipient must have proven communication skills.

    • Requests for nominations will be solicited from the Academy membership at large.

    • Applications will be reviewed by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI) with recommendations presented by a DEI representative to the Named Lectureship Task Force who will select the award recipient and present to the Scientific Assembly Committee for approval at the Annual Meeting (ACADEMY) Planning Session, which is held in the Spring of the year prior to the presentation of the lecture.

    Named Lectureship Task Force

    Kevin D. Cooper, MD, FAAD, Chair, 2025
    Jo-David Fine, MD, MPH, FAAD, Deputy Chair, 2025
    Emily Y. Chu, MD, PhD, FAAD, Member, 2025
    Robyn D. Siperstein, MD, FAAD, Member, 2024
    Bruce Harris Thiers, MD, FAAD, Member, 2025
    Janelle Pavlis, MD, FAAD, Member, 2025
    David Rosmarin, MD, FAAD, Member, 2026

    2023: Amy J. McMichael, MD, FAAD

    2022: Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD

    The award is named for Dr. John Kenney, who was the first African American member of the AAD and the 1995 recipient of the Master of Dermatology Award. Dr. Kenney was a distinguished physician in private practice and as a professor at Howard University for almost four decades where he created a separate dermatology department at Howard's Freedmen’s Hospital and served as chief of the division of dermatology and founding chairman of the department of dermatology. Dr. Kenney also served as the assistant editor of the Journal of the National Medical Association from 1947 to 1952, and as president of the National Medical Association from 1962 to 1963. In his 2003 obituary, The Washington Post estimated that of the about 300 black dermatologists practicing in the United States at that time, Kenney had mentored or trained about one-third of them.