Long-time NIH chief information officer set to retire

(NIH photo)


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The National Institutes of Health’s long-time chief information officer is retiring on Dec. 31.

Andrea Norris has served as CIO, as well as the Center for IT’s director, since October 2011, overseeing a $1.6 billion technology portfolio supporting NIH‘s 27 institutes and centers and more than 2,500 researchers receiving its grants.

Norris established the Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation and Sustainability (STRIDES) initiative, accelerating cloud computing adoption among biomedical researchers, and expanded the Biowulf supercomputer, resulting in a 500% increase in computing capacity for biomedical research.

“I have relied heavily on Andrea over the years for her expert advice on a range of information technology issues,” said Lawrence Tabak, acting NIH director, in a statement. “Her guidance is frequently sought, not only by NIH leadership, but by leaders from across [the Department of Health and Human Services] and the federal government on IT and data science matters that could significantly impact NIH.”

Norris led the group that developed the first agency-wide Technology Strategic Plan; implemented a 100-gigabit, high-speed network for research data sharing; and improved employees’ digital skills. She further bolstered NIH’s Cybersecurity Program with mature cyber tooling and identity and access management technologies protection the approximately 300,000 researchers accessing the agency’s data.

Prior to joining NIH, Norris held senior leadership roles at the National Science Foundation and NASA. She was a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration and has received the Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership and two Presidential Rank awards.

Norris’ dual-hatted role may be split when she leaves NIH.

“We will launch national searches for a new CIT Director, as well as a new CIO,” Tabak said.

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Andrea Norris, Cybersecurity, information technology, National Institutes of Health (NIH)