Daniel Coit Gilman (July 6, 1831 – October 13, 1908) was an American educator and academician. Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Gilman graduated from Yale College in 1852 with a degree in geography. After serving as attaché of the United States legation at St. Petersburg, Russia from 1853 to 1855, he returned to Yale and was active in planning and raising funds for the founding of Sheffield Scientific School. Gilman contemplated going into the ministry, and even took out a license to preach, but later settled on a career in education.
From 1856 to 1865, Gilman served as librarian of Yale College, and was also concerned with improving the New Haven public school system. In 1863, Gilman was appointed professor of geography at the Sheffield Scientific School, and became secretary and librarian as well in 1866. Having been passed over for the presidency of Yale, he resigned these posts in 1872 to become the third president of the newly-organized University of California. His work there was hampered by the state legislature, and in 1875 Gilman accepted the offer to establish and become first president of Johns Hopkins University.
Gilman was also active in founding Johns Hopkins Hospital (1889) and Johns Hopkins Medical School (1893). He retired from Johns Hopkins in 1901, but accepted the presidency (1902–4) of the newly founded Carnegie Institution of Washington. His books include biographies of James Monroe and James Dwight Dana, a collection of addresses entitled University Problems (1898), and The Launching of a University (1906).