Bernard Named Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
Dr. Marie Bernard is NIH’s new chief officer for scientific workforce diversity (COSWD). She will lead the effort to promote diversity, inclusiveness and equity throughout the biomedical research enterprise.
“Dr. Bernard is an accomplished physician-scientist and has championed diversity and inclusion efforts over her entire career, including serving a leadership role in NIH’s most recent efforts to end structural racism in biomedical research through the UNITE initiative,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins. “Her dedication and passion in creating equity and inclusion throughout the biomedical research enterprise are profound and inspiring. I am delighted that she will now be continuing in this vital leadership role for NIH on a permanent basis.”
She has served as the acting COSWD since October 2020, after the retirement of Dr. Hannah Valantine, who served as NIH’s first-ever COSWD. Bernard has also served as deputy director of the National Institute on Aging since October 2008.
Bernard has played key leadership roles in a broad variety of NIH activities to further diversity, including serving as a co-chair of the UNITE initiative, and leading the development of the NIA Health Disparities Research Framework. She also directed and supervised the NIA Office of Special Populations that leads health disparities research and training for scientists from diverse backgrounds.
She is a founding member of the diversity working group and NIH equity committee, and co-chair of the NIH inclusion governance committee, which oversees inclusion in clinical research by sex/gender, race/ethnicity and age.
Bernard also leads the women of color committee of the working group on women in biomedical careers, which established the Women of Color Research Network. Bernard has been recognized for her leadership with multiple awards, including the 2020 NIH Director’s Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Bernard completed her undergraduate education at Bryn Mawr College and received her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She trained in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital, where she also served as chief resident.