For the past eight years, Hannah Valantine, MD, has led efforts to foster diversity among faculty, staff and trainees at the School of Medicine. But soon she'll start a new chapter and join the National Institutes of Health as the organization's first chief officer for scientific workforce diversity.
As my colleague Susan Ipaktchian reports in today's announcement, Valantine "will lead NIH efforts to diversify the biomedical research workforce by developing a comprehensive strategy to expand recruitment and retention, and promote inclusiveness and equity."
Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, praised Valantine's accomplishments in an e-mail to medical school faculty and staff. He wrote:
With vision and tenacity, Hannah has done so much to make Stanford Medicine a more diverse and inclusive community where innovation flourishes and equity is valued. Since Hannah took up her position in 2005, the representation of women at every rank—assistant, associate, and full professor—has increased to levels that now exceed national and peer benchmarks. Over the same time, the number of underrepresented minorities among our faculty has also increased. Much of this progress is with thanks to Hannah who has developed innovative initiatives and implemented a number of changes to our recruitment and retention strategies.
In a news release, NIH director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, welcomed Valantine to her newly appointed position saying, "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 ... Hannah possesses the experience, dedication and tenacity needed to move NIH forward on this critically important issue."