June 23, 2022

Statement on the Retirement of Dr. James Anderson

James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.

James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., from federal service on June 30, 2022. Jim has served as the Director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) within the Office of the NIH Director and NIH Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives for almost 12 years. While I am pleased that Jim will get to enjoy more time with his wife and family, we at NIH will greatly miss his subtle humor, understated approach to leadership, and extraordinary competence directing a highly complex organization. His leadership of DPCPSI, which oversees the efforts of a broad range of research portfolios as well as the NIH Common Fund, has been instrumental in advancing the NIH mission.

NIH was fortunate to recruit Jim to NIH in 2010. His wide-ranging experience in clinical medicine, academic research, and administration made him the ideal candidate for the job. As the first non-acting director of DPCPSI, Jim helped form the division and the offices within to become central NIH-wide coordinators for many thematic areas of science, including a large number of high-impact NIH Common Fund programs. Under his leadership, the number of offices within DPCPSI grew from seven to 14, with research focuses ranging from HIV/AIDS, research infrastructure, behavioral and social sciences, disease prevention, dietary supplements, and nutrition, and research to focus on the health of women, sexual and gender minorities, and American Indians and Alaska Natives. He also brought together NIH-wide planning and evaluation functions under DPCPSI and developed new approaches for portfolio analysis and NIH-wide leadership in data science.

Jim places a strong emphasis on the use of data and analytics to inform decision making and implementation strategies for the programs he oversees. Consequently, he led the creation of the Office of Portfolio Analysis, now a go-to source for NIH administrators for its training, data, and analytic tools. He brought together NIH-wide planning and evaluation functions, adding an emphasis on scientific reporting, and increasing NIH’s evaluation capacity.

I also want to thank Jim for his dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) which led to the creation of innovative programs that advance training (the Diversity Program Consortium), and faculty recruitment, retention, and institutional culture change (the Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation Program). Most recently, Jim has been instrumental in the development of the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for DEIA.

I am grateful to Jim for his significant contributions to NIH and have the greatest respect for Jim’s accomplishments during his time here at NIH.

While we launch a search for Jim’s replacement, I am pleased to announce that Robert W. Eisinger, Ph.D., will return to NIH to serve as the Acting Director of DPCPSI. Bob left his role as DPCPSI Senior Scientific Advisor in April 2022 to become Director of Innovation for FasterCures at the Milken Institute’s Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions. He previously served as the Acting Director of the NIH Office of AIDS Research and Acting Associate Director for AIDS Research, as well as Special Assistant for Scientific Projects in the Immediate Office of the Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his exemplary service to the NIH and in wishing him the best in what comes next.

Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Acting Director, National Institutes of Health

This page last reviewed on June 23, 2022