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The NIH Director

Director's Statement regarding Dr. Kington

Dear IC Directors and OD Senior Staff:

It is with truly mixed emotions that I write to inform you that Raynard Kington has accepted the position of President of Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, starting at the end of July 2010. I am delighted for him and his family, and Grinnell College is fortunate indeed to have recruited a new President of such outstanding capabilities and character. I must say, however, that I have a lump in my throat imagining Raynard leaving the NIH, where he has made so many outstanding and long-lasting contributions.

Personally, I could not ask for a better Deputy Director, who has guided me on so many critical issues since last August. His counsel has been invaluable. In fact, Raynard has often been an "unsung hero" of the NIH. Many aren't even aware of the innumerable battles he fought on behalf of our agency, on behalf of our staff, and in defense of science. Raynard's modest and self-effacing manner belies a lion-hearted champion of the NIH mission.

Raynard joined the NIH in 2000 as Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, then served as Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Since February 2003, he has served as the Principal Deputy Director of the NIH. From November 2008 until my arrival in August, he served as Acting NIH Director. He performed each of these roles splendidly, always going far beyond the call of duty. As Acting NIH Director, Raynard took on multiple challenges, including leading the effort to allocate $10.4 billion of Recovery Act money quickly and wisely, and implementing President Obama's Executive Order on human embryonic stem cell research. Both efforts required enormous energy, impeccable scientific judgment, and nimble negotiation skills. Raynard handled these formidable challenges admirably. All of us at the NIH have benefitted from his skilled stewardship.

Please join me in congratulating Raynard on his new position. The NIH and the broader biomedical research community owe him enormous gratitude for all he has done over the last ten years, and we will be forever in his debt.

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

This page last reviewed on February 11, 2011

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