Center for Information Technology (CIT)


The Center for Information Technology (CIT) provides the NIH community with a secure and reliable IT infrastructure and a variety of IT services to support mission-critical research and administration. Among its activities, CIT provides:

  • a robust and secure enterprise network service to support voice, video, messaging and data
  • state-of-the-art, high performance scientific computing platforms
  • bioinformatics and computational bioscience resources to facilitate intramural research
  • secure access to IT systems, including computers, applications and systems
  • new computing technologies and innovative applications to solve business problems
  • data-processing, hosting and storage facilities
  • access to discounted software products and applications information, expertise, and training.

Important Events in CIT History

1954—A central data-processing facility is established in the NIH Office of the Director, combining EAM (punched card) equipment and biometric expertise.

1958—NIH installs its first electronic digital computer as an experimental device.

October 1961—NIH installs its first "second generation" computer.

April 1963—The Division of Computer Research and Technology (DCRT) is established.

1966—Dr. Arnold W. Pratt is named DCRT's first Director.

April 1966—Components of the "third-generation" computer system are installed.

June 1969—Minicomputers designed by DCRT are installed in NIH laboratories.

August 1969—DCRT introduces WYLBUR, to provide new computing capabilities to the administrative and scientific communities.

May 1979—An interagency agreement establishes the NIH Central Computer Utility as a Federal Data Processing Center.

1981—DCRT designs and implements NIH Extended WYLBUR, providing text-editing capabilities used for NIH publications, grants guidance and summary statements, and research papers.

April 1983—The Personal Workstation Project forms to determine how NIH personnel can use personal computers.

1988—The Convex Unix-based super mini-computer is installed and the network task group is created.

1990—Extensive networking (NIHnet) is installed at NIH, providing connectivity for 60 local area networks.

November 1990— Dr. David Rodbard is named DCRT Director.

June 1992—The NIH Director approves creation of the Office of Information Resources Management (OIRM) in the NIH Office of the Director.

September 1993—The Information Systems Security Officers committee is established to handle NIH IT security issues.

April 1996— William L. Risso is named Acting DCRT Director.

1997—A review of the Director of NIH’s administrative structure recommends that NIH implement IT recommendations by appointing a permanent CIO and establishing a CIO organization.

March 1998—The Center for Information Technology (CIT) is formed, combining the functions of the DCRT, OIRM, and the Telecommunications Branch. Alan S. Graeff is named NIH’s first CIO and Director of the newly formed CIT.

2003—The CIT help desk is formally established as the NIH IT Help Desk.

2005— Dr. John F. Jones, Jr. is named Acting CIT Director.

2007—CIT designs a new system for the, a general purpose scientific platform that hosts applications in response to technology needs of the NIH research community.

2008 —The Office of the CIO (OCIO) is created as a new organization in the NIH Office of the NIH Director (OD). Dr. John F. Jones, Jr. is named NIH CIO (OD) and Acting CIT Director.

June 2008—CIT deploys the NIH Federated Authentication Identity Service (NIH Federated Login).

August 2008—CIT announces the first online Service Catalog, providing customers with a single, online authoritative source of service information.

June 2010—CIT adds compute nodes to the NIH Biowulf Cluster, greatly increasing compute power for a wide range of biomedical research applications, including those in genomics, imaging, molecular dynamics, and statistical analysis.

February 2011—Thomas G. Murphy is named Acting CIT Director.

October 2011—Andrea T. Norris is named CIT Director and Acting NIH CIO.

August 2012—CIT Director Andrea T. Norris is named NIH CIO.

2013—The NIH Administrative Data Council is established by the NIH Director to recommend policies and strategies for trans-NIH information, information technology and to provide recommendations and oversight of strategic IT investments.

2014—The NIH network is modernized to accommodate 10 times its capacity, or 100 Gbps, to meet the increasing big data needs of NIH research and to improve communication and collaboration between on and off campus research facilities and to the Internet 2.

Biographical Sketch of CIT Director Andrea T. Norris

Ms. Andrea T. Norris serves as the Director, Center for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the National Institutes of Health. In these roles, she is responsible for leading the NIH information and enterprise information technology initiatives and overseeing deliveries of enterprise wide IT services to support NIH scientific research and administrative and management priorities. Enterprise services include the NIH network, high-performance scientific computing and bioinformatics research programs, data center services, business solutions and applications and NIH IT security.

Ms. Norris comes to the NIH from the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she was responsible for establishing the Foundation’s strategy, policies, and programs and managing its information technology systems and services. Prior to joining NSF, Ms. Norris was the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Management for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, providing senior leadership and management of the Agency’s complex $2 billion information technology portfolio. Prior to joining the Federal Government, Ms. Norris was a management consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton and served on the President’s Private Sector Commission on Cost Control.

Ms. Norris was the 2008 recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award.

Ms. Norris has a M.B.A. with a major in Information Systems Management from the George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary.

CIT Directors

Name In Office from To
James King (Acting) N/A N/A
Dr. Eugene Harris (Acting) N/A August 1966
Dr. Arnold W. Pratt August 1966 May 1990
Dr. David Rodbard November 1990 April 1996
William L. Risso (Acting) April 1996 March 1998
Alan S. Graeff March 1998 November 2005
Dr. John F. Jones, Jr. (Acting) November 2005 February 2011
Thomas G. Murphy (Acting) February 2011 October 2011
Andrea T. Norris October 2011 Present


The Center for Information Technology (CIT) supports mission critical research by delivering IT services and products through a network of service leads and their associated groups.

  • Office of the Director: Directs and evaluates the Center's programs, policies, and procedures and provides analysis and guidance in the development of services and systems.
    • Office of Administrative Management: Provides support in the areas of finance, human resources, contracts, acquisition, procurement, communication and administration.
    • Office of Intramural Research: Provides scientific and technical expertise to NIH and the Intramural Research Program by development and delivery of computational methods and tools to solve complex biomedical laboratory and clinical research problems.
    • Office of IT Services Management: Provides a variety IT services to maximize agility and promote responsiveness in support of NIH IT
      • Network Services: Manages the NIH network, a 100 Gbps distributed metropolitan area infrastructure, connecting more than 100 research labs and facilities on the NIH campus, at remote locations and the Internet and Internet 2.
      • High Performance Computing Services: Manages and supports NIH High Performance Computing (HPC) Core Facility, a shared enterprise resource supporting high performance computational needs of NIH’s intramural researchers.
      • Unified Communication and Collaboration Services: Manages and delivers integrated voice, video and messaging to support NIH staff and the broad research community.
      • Business Application Support Services: Provides commercial and custom information technology solutions to meet the needs of research, program and administrative application development integration and support.
      • Facility and Infrastructure Services: Provides and maintains the infrastructure and cabling services to support data, voice and video and cellular connectivity across NIH.
      • Hosting and Storage Services: Provides secure, highly available, enterprise Windows, Unix, Linux, Database, and mainframe hosting and data storage services. Components include onsite Federal Data Center and off-site commercial hosting environment.
      • Identity and Access Management: Provides the management of policy and infrastructure required to provide secure access to NIH networks, computers, applications, files, websites, and other IT resources.
      • IT Support Services: Provides end-to-end IT support services through the entire customer lifecycle.
      • Operations Management Services: Directs and supports the CIT’s daily IT service management functions.
      • Service Desk Services: Manages NIH and specialized call center capabilities, supporting NIH staff with IT service needs.

This page last reviewed on March 1, 2017