By Shannon E. Garnett
Marvene Horwitz, NINDS deputy executive officer, recently retired with nearly 30 years of federal service 15 with NIH, 5 ½ with NINDS.
"I think it is time," said Horwitz. "I believe everyone comes to a point where they say it is time to do something new. I fell into this work; I never planned it. It has worked out extremely well for me. But I think it is time to see if there is something new to fall into."
Before coming to NIH, Horwitz served in staff and supervisory positions as a personnel management specialist in the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Highway Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Office of Personnel Management where she began her federal career at what was then called the U.S. Civil Service Commission.
Since coming to NIH in 1989 as chief of the Recruitment and Employee Benefits Branch, she has also held various supervisory and managerial positions in the Office of Human Resource Management, Office of the Director. In 1996, she was named deputy director of human resources. She joined NINDS in 1999 as deputy executive officer. In addition to her NINDS responsibilities, she served as chair of the NIH quality of worklife committee, and as vice-chair of the NIH Diversity Council.
"NIH was the first organization where I really could identify with the mission and I have thoroughly enjoyed being associated with the biomedical research enterprise," said Horwitz. "I always used to say that personnel wasn't brain surgery. When I got here, I realized it was brain surgery or at least it helped support people doing brain surgery. That is doubly true for me being in NINDS now and knowing that my work helps support brain surgeons, neurologists and neuroscientists working on diseases and disorders that affect so many people."
Horwitz earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Rochester, a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh, and a second master's degree in governmental administration from Georgia State University.
"What has been most satisfying to me is the ability to mentor terrific, bright, thoughtful employees in formal intern programs and informally as well," she said. "They are the future of NIH and I leave it in their capable hands."
In retirement she plans to do the "usual" traveling and volunteer work. She is also considering taking tap dance lessons, joining a Spanish book club, learning to bake bread and learning to read from the Torah (book of Jewish law). "In the end," she said, she will enjoy "doing what I want, whenever I want to do it."
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