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About NIH

NIH Leadership

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins

On August 17, 2009, Dr. Francis S. Collins became the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Read Dr. Collins’ bio sketch

The NIH Director plays an active role in shaping the agency's activities and outlook. The Director has a unique and critical perspective on the whole of the NIH. He is responsible for providing leadership to the Institutes and for constantly identifying needs and opportunities, especially for efforts that involve multiple Institutes. Read more about the role of the NIH Director

Deputy Directors

Lawrence A. Tabak

Lawrence A.

Kathy Hudson


Michael Gottesman


Colleen Barros


James M. Anderson

James M.

Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. — Principal Deputy Director, NIH

Kathy Hudson, Ph.D. — Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy

Michael Gottesman, M.D. — Deputy Director for Intramural Research

Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. — Acting Deputy Director for Extramural Research

Colleen Barros, M.A. — Deputy Director for Management and Chief Financial Officer

James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. — Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives

Institute and Center Directors

Each NIH Institute and Center has its own director to lead the pursuit of the research mission specific to the Institute.

The Role of the NIH Director

The NIH Director plays an active role in shaping the agency's activities and outlook. With a unique and critical perspective on the whole of the NIH, the Director is responsible for providing leadership to the Institutes and for constantly identifying needs and opportunities, especially for efforts that involve multiple Institutes.

The Director stays in touch with each Institute's priorities and accomplishments through:

  • regular senior staff meetings,
  • discussions with scientific interest groups, and
  • briefing sessions with Institute directors.

The Director also seeks advice from the Council of Councils, a special panel of experts convened to advise the NIH Director on matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives. The Director also receives advice through discussions with the Administration, usually through the Department of Health and Human Services External Web Site Policy (HHS), and with the Congress.

The NIH Director is responsible for advising the President on his annual budget request to Congress on the basis of extensive discussions with the Institute Directors.

Related Links

  • Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity — Hannah Valantine, M.D. leads NIH’s effort to diversify the biomedical research workforce by developing a vision and comprehensive strategy to expand recruitment and retention, and promote inclusiveness and equity throughout the biomedical research enterprise. Dr. Valantine works closely with the NIH institutes and centers, the NIH grantee community, and community stakeholders to ensure engagement on the issue at all levels.
  • Office of Data Science — Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D. leads the Office of Data Science, an NIH-wide priority initiative to take better advantage of the exponential growth of biomedical research datasets, which is an area of critical importance to biomedical research. NIH will engage with partners both within NIH and in academia, industry, non-profits, or other government Agencies, to coordinate access to and analysis of many different data types (Big Data) that make up this revolution in biological information.
  • Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives — Identifies emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, and scientific knowledge gaps that merit further research. Plans and implements trans-NIH initiatives supported by the Common Fund and coordinates research related to AIDS, behavioral and social sciences, women's health, and disease prevention.
  • Office of Extramural Research — Provides the corporate framework for NIH research administration, ensuring scientific integrity, public accountability, and effective stewardship of the NIH extramural research portfolio.
  • Office of Intramural Research — Responsible for oversight and coordination of intramural research, training, and technology transfer conducted within the laboratories and clinics of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Office of Management — Responsible for NIH-wide administration and management.
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer — Provides IT Strategic Planning to NIH Leadership Offices and Institute and Center Directors and serves in a leadership role in IT governance at NIH. Responsible for coordinating NIH IT with other HHS Operating Divisions and with other Federal Agencies.
  • Office of Communications and Public Liaison — Responsible for communicating information on NIH programs and activities to the public, the media, the scientific and medical communities, and public advocacy groups.
  • Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management — Responsible for increasing the NIH’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • NIH Ethics Office — Responsible for assisting NIH staff with the requirements, statutes, and regulations governing behavior of employees of the Federal Government.
  • Executive Office (Public Website) (OD-Only Website) — The Executive Office leads the NIH Office of the Director (OD) in a wide array of administrative and business operations.
  • Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis — Serves as the principle legislative office for the NIH Director and other senior NIH staff.
  • Office of the Ombudsman / Center for Cooperative Resolution — provides informal assistance to members of the NIH community in addressing lab and work-related issues.
  • Office of Science Policy — Advises and supports the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on science policy issues affecting the medical research community, the NIH, and the public.

Additional Resources

  • Executive Secretariat — Manages the flow of information to and from, and the storage and retrieval of records

Public Health Impact of NIH Research

NIH is the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

This research has had a major positive impact on nearly all of our lives by improving human health, fueling the U.S. economy, and creating jobs in our communities.

NIH Director’s Blog

The Director’s Blog highlights new discoveries in biology and medicine that are game changers, noteworthy, or just plain cool.

Through the blog, the Director may tell you about an interesting study in a journal, or share his thoughts about a news item or public health issue.

NIH BRAIN Initiative

With nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections, the human brain remains one of the greatest mysteries in science and one of the greatest challenges in medicine.

The NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is part of a new Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain by producing a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space.

The NIH Vision—

NIH Strategic Plan for Obesity Research

Affects 65% of U.S. adults or 130 million people

Trans-NIH effort of 19 Institutes encourages research on:

  • lifestyle modification
  • pharmacologic, surgical, and other medical approaches
  • links to diseases and health disparities
  • education/outreach efforts

The NIH Vision—

NIH Neuroscience Blueprint

Trans-NIH — 15 institutes collaborate on reducing human suffering from mental illness, neurological disorders and a wide range of behavioral disorders:

  • creating new resources
  • tackling common scientific problems
  • training next generations of neuroscientists
This page last reviewed on September 16, 2015

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