It is bittersweet for me to announce that I am leaving my position as the NIH Deputy Director and will be retiring from NIH and the government to take a new position as Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. This is a newly formed foundation that I will lead through its formative first years. This foundation is a non-profit corporation that will focus on important national and international issues of agriculture where expanded investments will generate innovative solutions. This position brings together my experience at NIH and my previous 19 years with the USDA. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to do something completely new, which led to my acceptance of this new position.
It has been an extraordinarily hard decision to leave NIH, an incredible agency with an incredible mission, one of which I have loved being part. Working with the extramural community has been an amazing experience, as your work contributes so much to improving lives around the nation, and around the world, through your research. Writing this blog has been a centerpiece of my tenure as Director of the Office of Extramural Research, and I thank you for reading and participating in the conversation here at Rock Talk and helping us to throw open the doors to what is, at times, the mystery of the NIH decision-making process.
I am going to stay on through mid-September, to allow time for NIH Director Francis Collins to seek my replacement. I’ll keep on blogging through then, so let’s continue our dialog!