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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Robinson Returns to NIH as NIDCD’s First Chief Diversity Officer

A smiling Robinson in pink shirt, black cardigan - arms folded

Dr. Cendrine Robinson is NIDCD’s first chief diversity officer.

Dr. Cendrine Robinson has been selected as NIDCD’s first chief diversity officer. She joins NIDCD from the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she served as a scientific program officer and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) chair.

Robinson is an expert in leading programs to promote diversity in research. At the VA, she led the development of a DEI strategy for the Office of Research and Development, executing initiatives to promote health equity and to expand the pipeline of investigators from historically excluded groups. She also co-directed implementation of summer research programs at 21 VA medical centers. 

In addition, Robinson has extensive experience in project management and biomedical behavioral research. She was a research fellow and project manager for the initiative at NCI. There, she conducted multiple research projects aimed at improving smoking cessation outcomes for adolescents and African-American smokers by focusing on access and engagement. 

Robinson initiated collection of race and ethnicity data for NCI’s Smokefreetxt—a text-messaging service for people who are ready to quit smoking—and conducted the first analysis of Smokefreetxt outcomes among African-American smokers. 

Besides guiding research, she also served as a project officer tasked with planning, advising and evaluating program activities to support a research portfolio.

Robinson received a bachelor’s degree in brain and cognitive sciences from the University of Rochester. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees in medical and clinical psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as well as a master’s degree in public health-quantitative methods from Harvard School of Public Health. 

Robinson was a psychology resident and research fellow at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Ill., and has served as health equity ambassador for the American Psychological Association and in leadership roles for the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

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