News Release

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hannah Valantine, M.D., named NIH’s first Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity

Following a nationwide search, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has appointed Hannah Valantine, M.D., to the permanent position of Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity. Dr. Valantine will lead 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 is expected to begin her new role this spring.

“Recruiting and retaining the brightest minds regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and socioeconomic status, is critically important not only to NIH, but to the entire U.S. scientific enterprise,” said Dr. Collins. “Hannah possesses the experience, dedication, and tenacity needed to move NIH forward on this critically important issue.”

The appointment stems from a recommendation by the Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) that called for a newly created position entirely dedicated to diversity. Dr. Valantine will work closely with the NIH institutes and centers, NIH grantee community, and community stakeholders to ensure engagement on the issue at all levels.

Dr. Valantine comes to the NIH from Stanford University where she served as Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Leadership at Stanford School of Medicine, and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Valantine studied biochemistry at London University and attended St. George’s Hospital Medical School. She completed her post-graduate work in the field of cardiology at two London hospitals, Brompton and Hammersmith. She moved to the United States to train as a fellow with leading cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, including heart transplant pioneer Norman Shumway, M.D., Ph.D. In addition to a prestigious career in cardiology, Dr. Valantine is a past recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce and has a proven record on implementing diversity initiatives in academic medicine.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, who served as the Acting Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity while a search was underway,” said Dr. Collins.“Roderic did an incredible job of keeping the initiative moving while continuing to serve as Director of the National Institute on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. His tireless efforts and knowledge on this important topic will make him an essential resource to Hannah.”

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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