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NIH Record Retirees

NIAAA Executive Officer Martin Trusty Retires

After 38 years of service, NIAAA Executive Officer Martin Trusty is retiring in September.

He graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in economics and later received an M.S. degree from George Washington University in management. He has served as NIAAA's executive officer since 1973.

Prior to joining NIAAA, he spent 8 years at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., followed by several years with other DHHS organizations. Dr. Enoch Gordis, NIAAA director, said, "I, and all of us at NIAAA, will miss Marty Trusty very much as he leaves us this summer. He is a remarkable man. It goes without saying that he has a deep knowledge of the workings of government, and a detailed command of all administrative and financial issues that face our institute. What is most important is that he is not only smart, but wise. He has deep insight into human nature, and he handles difficult personnel issues with tact and grace. His judgment has been of immense value to me over the years in many areas. He understands the science, and has been a regular participant in scientific decisions. He is kind and generous, and I still recall his friendship and guidance when I first came to Washington. We have shared many laughs over the years about the more bizarre antics of bureaucracy and much else. He is highly literate and a graceful writer, with a deep love of classical music. With retirement, he will have more time for his family, especially his young grandchildren, whom he adores. We wish him and his wife Penny much happiness."

During Trusty's tenure at NIAAA, he played a key role in a number of changes, including the formal establishment of NIAAA as an institute in the early 1970's, conversion of all of NIAAA's services programs to block grants in 1981, and the transfer of NIAAA to NIH in 1992. He also negotiated and directed NIAAA's relocation from the Parklawn Bldg. in 1993, as part of NIAAA's efforts to rapidly integrate into NIH. While he was executive officer, the institute's research budget grew from less than $10 million to $260 million this year. His career spanned seven institute directors, and he received numerous performance awards including the PHS Superior Performance Award and the NIH Director's Award.

Noted Dr. Ting-Kai Li of Indiana University School of Medicine, who is a member of the advisory committee to the NIH director, "Marty is the consummate executive officer. He makes you believe he is invisible, but to those who seek to understand successful federal government operations, his imprinting is evident everywhere."

Dr. Ted Colburn, former NIAAA deputy scientific director and current scientific director of the Foundation for NIH, said, "To me, Marty is the prototype executive officer, with emphasis on 'executive.' He is very intelligent, articulate, an exceptional writer, and has a fine analytical mind and a great sense of humor. He does not obsess on administrative minutiae, but always sees the big picture. He is a loyal advocate of the institute and its staff. He has exceptional judgment and always seems to know the right thing to say or do in politically sensitive situations."

Added Dr. Faye Calhoun, NIAAA associate director for collaborative research, "Among the pleasures for a career bureaucrat are the times when you have had an opportunity to work with a master of administrative management who is also a world-class human being. Public administration textbooks don't hold a candle to this kind of knowledge, experience and graceful handling of the executive officer's role."

Upon retirement and completion of some long-delayed household projects, Trusty plans to make a third visit to England with his wife Penny, who recently retired as a principal scientist at Comsat Laboratories. One of his long-term hobbies is English history; he is an Anglophile who frequently listens to the BBC World Service on his short-wave radio. His son Jim, his daughter Karen, and their families, including four grandchildren, live in Montgomery County. Trusty is looking forward to increased activities with both families. He also will be kept busy as treasurer of the Woodley Gardens Civic Association in Rockville and as an active member of the Baha'i Faith community in Rockville.

About retiring, he said, "It was a difficult decision because of the institute's culture and collegial environment under Dr. Gordis. The appointment of Dr. Gordis as institute director in 1986 and transfer of NIAAA to NIH in 1992 have been two major defining events in NIAAA's history."

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