Hannah Valantine, senior associate dean for diversity and leadership at the School of Medicine, has been named the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) first-ever chief officer for scientific workforce diversity.
Valantine, who has held her position since 2005 and who also serves as a professor of cardiovascular medicine, will oversee the NIH’s attempts to diversify its researching corps by advancing strategies to increase minority recruitment and retention while simultaneously creating a culture of inclusivity.
Under Valantine’s leadership, the School of Medicine reported an increase in the number of female faculty members to levels above national averages. The number of faculty from under-represented minority groups has also increased, from 34 in 2004 to 96 in 2014.
“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 NIH Director Francis Collins in a press release. “Hannah possesses the experience, dedication and tenacity needed to move the NIH forward on this critically important issue.”