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Kathleen Powderly

Faculty Affiliate, Bioethics; Director, John Conley Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Kathleen Powderly, C.N.M., Ph.D., Director of the John Conley Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Dr. Powderly joined the Downstate faculty in 1989, shortly after the Division of Humanities in Medicine was founded. Dr. Powderly holds faculty appointments in the College of Medicine (Obstetrics/Gynecology) and in the College of Nursing. She is a nurse-midwife by background, a clinical ethicist, and the ethics consultant to University Hospital of Brooklyn, Kings County Hospital Center and University Hospital of Brooklyn at LICH. Dr. Powderly is Vice-Chairman of the Ethics Committee at UHB/KCHC and has served as a Vice-Chair of the Ethics Council of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. She is also a member of the Institutional Review Board of Public Health Solutions, a member of the Ethics Committee of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, a member of the Ethics Committee of the SUNY University Faculty Senate and a member of the Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs standing committee of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. Dr. Powderly is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and has been an Adjunct Associate at the Hastings Center. In addition to other committee activities at Downstate, Dr. Powderly has served as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Faculty and Professional Staff of the College of Medicine since 2006, and as a sub-committee chair coordinating historical symposia and content for Downstate’s sesquicentennial celebration. She has been Principal Investigator for grants from the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Historic Publications and Records Administration.


  • Ph.D., Columbia University
  • M.Phil., Columbia University
  • M.S.N., Yale University
  • B.S., Niagara University