News Release

Friday, June 8, 2012

Deborah Guadalupe Duran to lead strategic planning for health disparities research at NIH’s NIMHD

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) announced today the appointment of Deborah Guadalupe Duran, Ph.D., as chief of the Office of Strategic Planning, Legislation, and Science Policy. A nationally known innovator in strategic planning, performance, and program evaluation, Dr. Duran joins NIMHD to lead the institute's development, monitoring, and assessment of the National Institutes of Health's health disparities research agenda.

“Dr. Duran is a well-respected leader. Her wealth of expertise in strategic planning, science policy, and evaluation will be quite valuable to the NIMHD in leading the NIH priority setting and evaluation for health disparities research,” said NIMHD Director Dr. John Ruffin. “Dr. Duran will be responsible for the NIH health disparities strategic plan and budget.”

Dr. Duran has had a long and distinguished career at NIH dating back to 2001, when she started her tenure with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a senior policy analyst for the Office of Science Planning and Assesment. Most recently, she served as deputy director of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. Dr. Duran has spent much of her NIH career serving as performance director in the NIH Office of the Director, with a wide range of responsibilities including NIH program performance monitoring, budget performance integration, organizational performance assessments, and strategic planning.

Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Duran was a public health analyst at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In addition, she served as senior research and science policy advisor and research director for the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations. She was also an assistant professor at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio; an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; and a principal investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study — the Latina Health Study.

A certified evaluator, Dr. Duran received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; an M.S. in computer science from Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and her Ph.D. in social psychology with a minor in statistics and research design from the University of Denver. In 2000 and 2004, she received a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services award for Distinguished Service. In 2005, she received the National Institutes of Health Director's Merit Award, which was followed by her National Institutes of Health Director's Award in 2006. In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented her with an award for her contributions to research efficiency measures.

As chief of the Office of Strategic Planning, Legislation, and Scientific Policy (OSPLSP), Dr. Duran will direct NIMHD's science policy, strategic planning, and evaluation activities. Under her leadership, the OSPLSP will be the focal point for the institute's efforts to plan, coordinate, review, and evaluate research and other activities on minority health and health disparities conducted or supported by the NIH Institutes and Centers.

NIMHD is a part of the NIH. It leads scientific research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities by conducting and supporting research on minority health and health disparities; planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating all minority health and health disparities research at NIH; promoting and supporting the training of a diverse research workforce; translating and disseminating research information; and fostering collaborations and partnerships. For more information about NIMHD, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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