Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D.

Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives

Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D., is the NIH Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives. She previously served as NIH Acting Principal Deputy Director from December 2021-November 2023 and NIH Associate Deputy Director from January 2019-December 2021. Dr. Schwetz also served as the Alternate Deputy Ethics Counselor of NIH from January 2019 through November 2023. For much of 2021, Dr. Schwetz was on detail to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Biomedical Science Initiatives, where she led the efforts to stand up the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

Since joining NIH in 2012, Dr. Schwetz has held multiple positions across several Institutes and within the Office of the Director. She has served as the Acting Director and Acting Deputy Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the Chief of the Strategic Planning and Evaluation Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Director of NIH, the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Interim Associate Program Director, and a Health Science Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Schwetz started her career at NIH as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at NINR.

Dr. Schwetz has led or co-led several NIH-wide efforts, including two Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics programs (RADx Underserved Populations and RADx Radical), the first NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, NIH-Wide COVID-19 Strategic Plan, NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research, NIH Office of the Director Strategic Engagement Agenda, and played a significant role in the development of the National Pain Strategy.

She received a B.S. in biochemistry with honors from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of South Florida, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

This page last reviewed on February 14, 2024