Director, Office of Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD)

Bethesda, Maryland
May 18, 2021
Position Type

Leadership Opportunity at NIMH

Director, Office of Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD), Office of the Director

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.

NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest bio-medical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Position Overview

The ODWD Director (1) serves as the focal point for the Institute’s efforts to foster research to understand and eliminate mental health disparities among racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minority populations and other under-served or vulnerable groups; (2) implements strategic plans to improve the effectiveness of NIMH disparities research activities and diversity training programs; (3) promotes and facilitates the development and maintenance of a diverse and inclusive biomedical research workforce through innovative approaches; (4) oversees and coordinates NIMH policies related to extramural diversity activities, research training programs, and workforce development efforts; and, (5) collaborates with NIH, DHHS, and other agencies, as well as the extramural scientific community, on these matters.

The ODWD Director will provide effective leadership in developing and implementing scientific policies and research initiatives that aim to reduce mental health disparities and advance equity in mental health interventions, services, and outcomes. In addition, the Director will increase scientific attention to mental health disparities experienced by women as well as persons living in rural areas. Applicants should be capable of managing interdisciplinary staff with a variety of backgrounds and interests to generate a work environment that is cooperative and productive.


Applicants must have an MD or PhD in a relevant scientific discipline and be a recognized leader in the field of mental health disparities research and/or rural mental health. Experience in developing and maintaining a diverse workforce is desirable. As a scientific leader, the ODWD Director is expected to recognize promising opportunities for aligning NIMH health disparities initiatives with those of other Institutes or agencies. To be successful in building and  managing this diverse portfolio of research, the incumbent must be knowledgeable about population specific needs as well as scientific opportunities for reducing health disparities and improving population health overall. Applicants must be able to prioritize scientific efforts related to heath disparities research and manage these activities within an annual budget. This requires frequent evaluation of program priorities, and occasionally changing tactics to maximize funding opportunities, especially when outside resources become available for co-funding or cost-sharing.

The incumbent must provide executive leadership and possess superior communication skills to effectively and appropriately present information to the public and other stakeholders, including NIH, DHHS, and Congressional staff, on health disparities among racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minority populations, women, those residing in rural areas, and other disadvantaged groups, on ways to resolve these inequities.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted between May 17, 2021 and June 29, 2021. Applications must include CV and a letter of intent including a mission statement and/or vision for the position. Please send these materials to: Contact Melissa Kopyto at: or: (301) 827-2862 with any questions.

The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.

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