Russell Named Acting Deputy Director for New Advanced Research Entity
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra selected Dr. Adam H. Russell to serve as the acting deputy director for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), effective June 6. In this role, Russell will lead the intensive process to stand up ARPA-H by continuing to build the infrastructure, business processes and policies, which could take up to a year.
In the coming months, additional interim staff will be brought on board while President Biden searches for an inaugural director, as the position is presidentially appointed.
Public Law 117-103, which was enacted on Mar. 15, authorized establishment of ARPA-H within HHS. Becerra transferred ARPA-H to NIH on Apr. 14.
On May 25, he formally established ARPA-H as an independent entity within NIH to ensure its ability to operate autonomously and partner across HHS and the wider U.S. government to identify projects that will be transformative and far reaching.
“ARPA-H will have a singular purpose: to drive breakthroughs in health, including the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes,” Becerra said, announcing Russell’s appointment.
Russell currently serves as chief scientist at University of Maryland’s Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security. He spent a decade as a program manager, first at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and then at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Russell holds a bachelor of arts in cultural anthropology from Duke University, and an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. in social anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.