Prior to his appointment at Macquarie University, Professor Dowton served as a senior medical executive having held a range of positions in university, healthcare and consulting organisations. He also served as a paediatrician at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and as Clinical Professor of Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Professor Dowton joined the University in September 2012. During his first year he led a highly consultative process to develop a long-term strategic framework for the University, establishing an ethos of service and engagement at the heart of its learning, teaching and research activities. The framework has subsequently enabled a dramatic improvement in research performance, a synthesis of traditional and technological learning and teaching activities, deeper relationships with corporate and industry partners, significantly enhanced philanthropic giving and a series of multi-million-dollar capital works on campus. Dowton’s ability to clarify complexity, and highly engaging personal style, have since become hallmarks of his Vice-Chancellorship.
He has published articles on a wide range of topics in peer-reviewed academic publications, and has held Visiting Professorial and External Examiner appointments at several universities including the University of Edinburgh, Columbia University in New York, the University of Tromsø in Norway, Hong Kong University, as well as institutions in the People’s Republic of China.
Additionally, Professor Dowton spends much of his time outside the University in philanthropic and community engagements. Currently, he serves as a trustee on the Board of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as Chairman of Open Universities Australia and as a member of Asia Society Australia.