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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

White House Honors NIH HBCU Program

A smiling Diane Frasier shakes hands with Johnathan Holifield on stage in front of American flag.

NIH’s Diane Frasier accepts the Chairman’s Award from Johnathan Holifield, executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

In 2017, Diane Frasier, director of the Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management, established the Path to Excellence and Innovation (PEI) Program in accordance with a White House initiative to promote excellence and innovation at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). PEI’s mission is to empower HBCUs with the knowledge, resources and skills they need to compete for and win partnership opportunities within NIH. 

On Sept. 9, the PEI program received the Chairman’s Award from the White House Initiative on HBCUs at the 2019 National HBCU Week Conference. 

The award recognizes NIH’s efforts to strengthen HBCUs’ ability to participate equitably in federal programs, explore new ways to improve the relationship between the federal government and HBCUs and establish how each agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts and cooperative agreements. 

The White House acknowledged NIH’s implementation of the first NIH HBCU Industry Day on Mar. 12. The event brought HBCUs, industry and NIH acquisition, grant and program officials together to collaborate on best practices and form partnerships. 

Currently, there are six HBCUs in NIH’s pilot program—Jackson State University, Howard University, Hampton University, Meharry School of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of the Virgin Islands.

If your institute or center has programs concerning the infrastructure and/or training of HBCU administrators, email

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