NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIDCD Division Director Jordan Retires

Smiling, Jordan is seated at a table
Dr. Craig A. Jordan

Dr. Craig A. Jordan, director of the NIDCD Division of Extramural Activities, retired in August after 37 years at NIH. Since 2003, he led DEA and served as executive secretary for NIDCD’s advisory council.

At his last council meeting this past May, it was fitting that he received a virtual standing ovation from council members and NIDCD staff. While Jordan was flattered by the sentiment, his entire career has centered around going the extra mile with grantees, researchers, peer reviewers, council members and NIDCD and NIH colleagues to resolve issues, develop management strategies and encourage scientists in the early stages of their research careers. 

“Craig will truly be missed at NIH and we are grateful for his outstanding contributions to the mission of our institute,” said NIDCD director Dr. Debara Tucci. “While he is highly regarded in his role as executive secretary to the council, I also admire his unwavering commitment to his staff and the extramural community.” 

Tucci presented Jordan with the highest award given at NIDCD, the Exceptional Service Award, for his sustained outstanding service in support of the institute’s mission.

His dedication has been recognized by numerous NIH awards for his work on the Early-Stage Investigator Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Pioneer Award Program, NIDCD advisory council operations and enhancing peer review and the funding opportunities process. He is particularly proud of his early-career role in helping to build DEA into the widely respected force it is today. Treasuring this respect from the research community, he never felt compelled to look elsewhere for career satisfaction.

Before joining NIH, Jordan was a predoctoral fellow and research assistant in the microbiology department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology at Ohio State University and his Ph.D. in medical microbiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. 

In 1984, Jordan joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as a staff fellow. He became an NINDS senior staff fellow before joining NIDCD as a scientific review administrator in 1990. He was promoted to chief of DEA’s Scientific Review Branch in 1996. He served as acting DEA director from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2002 to 2003. In 2003, Jordan was officially selected as DEA director.

Jordan rounded out his professional career by representing NIDCD in the community and encouraging staff to join him in NIH health and exercise events, the Combined Federal Campaign and Take Your Child to Work Day activities. He now looks forward to more days of bike riding, traveling and spending time with family, friends and his grandchildren. 

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