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Hellinger Named NIA Associate Director

Lynn C. Hellinger knows how to deal with change, which will come in handy in her new role as associate director for management at the National Institute on Aging.

Lynn C. Hellinger
As former associate director for management and operations at NIAID, she led the post-Sept. 11 efforts to set up an infrastructure for biodefense research. At NIA, the challenges do not come from an immediate crisis, but from the steady and accelerating aging of the population. "NIA is at the forefront of aging research, and I look forward to finding ways to support the scientists grappling with the issues facing us with unprecedented aging in America and the world," Hellinger says.

She played a key role in recruiting staff, acquiring and building facilities and developing training programs as NIAID became the lead agency for several presidential mandates to combat bioterrorism. Like others at NIH, she operated against a backdrop of administrative freezes, A-76, reorganizations and management changes.

"We had to reorganize our work and make it much more efficient as we were exploding in our growth," said Hellinger, noting that NIAID's budget nearly doubled with the $1.7 billion increase the institute received after 9/11. "I feel I have put things in place (at NIAID) but I am one of those people who believe that you never really cross the finish line. There is always a way to make things better," she said.

At NIA, Hellinger will continue a career of leadership in human resources, organizational efficiency and public management. She said she will take cues from the scientists, asking how the administration can best support their work and the overall scientific mission of the institute.

NIA director Dr. Richard Hodes welcomed her to the institute. "NIA has been fortunate to have exceptional leadership in its administrative functions over the past years, and the institute looks forward to continuing this tradition with the addition of Lynn Hellinger. She comes to NIA with an outstanding background of service at NIAID and as a widely respected member of NIH's leadership community."

A unique feature of Hellinger's career is her activity and leadership in professional societies and in building future public managers. She has focused on mentoring young professionals in public administration and management so they are prepared to "hit the deck running." A 20-year NIH veteran, she serves as the federal representative to the International Public Management Association's executive council and has served as president of the Montgomery County chapter and eastern region of the association.
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