News Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NCMHD Announces New Director for Scientific Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis

Internationally renowned public health administrator and health policy advisor to four U.S. Administrations Ileana Collado Herrell, Ph.D., has been appointed as the new director, Division of Scientific Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Herrell will be the NCMHD's chief liaison with the NIH's Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis. She will also have responsibility for producing reports on NIH research that seeks to eliminate health disparities and address the health needs of medically underserved individuals.

"Dr. Herrell has been a major force behind the development of some of the most important health policy decisions in the last 25 years. Her leadership in the fight for the equitable treatment of women, people with HIV/AIDS and the mentally ill is inspiring," said John Ruffin, Ph.D., director, NCMHD. "Her broad knowledge of how the government works and how it can be made to work more efficiently makes her especially qualified to lead the planning and policy division at the NCMHD."

Herrell is a recognized expert on developing health promotion and disease prevention policies and programs at the local, state, national and international levels. Prior to joining the NCMHD, Herrell was a special advisor to the associate administrator for the HIV/AIDS Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She began her federal career as the assistant director for minority health at the National Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She then joined HRSA where she led the establishment of the Office of Minority Health, becoming its first director while serving concurrently as the first associate administrator for minority health.

"My work at the NCMHD is a continuation of my commitment to use health policy to make a better world." said Dr. Herrell. "I gladly accept this challenge and look forward to working together with the NCMHD director to fulfill the Center's vision of an America in which all populations will have an equal opportunity to live long, healthy and productive lives."

Herrell has served as a consultant to governments and nongovernmental agencies in more than 24 countries including the International Labour Office and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. While serving as a consultant at the WHO, Herrell was executive secretary to the Global Task Force on Health Policy and Development and advisor to the Global Commission on Women's Health. She has served on several White House commissions, including the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform and the President's Committee on Mental Retardation.

Herrell is the author of over 20 publications on HIV/AIDS, health and human rights, women's health issues, drug abuse, gender equity and worker's health care. She is perhaps best known for Technical Cooperation, Gender, and Social Dialogue: Guide to Mainstreaming Gender Into Technical Cooperation Projects on Social Dialogue, a treatise published in three languages — English, Spanish and French.

Herrell's leadership and service have earned her some of the highest honors that can be bestowed by HHS and the U.S. Public health Service. Overall she's been honored more than a dozen times by private and public entities for her public health expertise.

Herrell earned her doctorate of philosophy degree in human development at the Institute of Child Study, University of Maryland, and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico.

The NCMHD ( is a component of the NIH. The NCMHD promotes minority health and leads, coordinates, supports and assesses the NIH effort to eliminate health disparities. The NCMHD programs focus on expanding the nation's ability to conduct research and to build a diverse culturally-competent research workforce to eliminate health disparities.

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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