June 11, 2015
NIH Director’s Statement Regarding Dr. Sally Rockey’s Departure
It is with truly mixed emotions that I announce that Dr. Sally Rockey will be leaving her post as Deputy Director for Extramural Research to become the Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. On the one hand, I’m very happy for Sally and proud that she will be bringing her considerable skills to the leadership of this new and important endeavor. This foundation, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, is a non-profit corporation that will focus on important national and international issues of agriculture where expanded investments will generate innovative solutions. Sally has a long history in agriculture, having spent 19 years with the USDA before joining the NIH, so this looks like an ideal fit. On the other hand, I will greatly miss her wisdom, courage, and creativity as we tackle the knotty issues associated with extramural grant funding, especially in this particularly stark budget climate. Sally has done an outstanding job of steering the NIH through many challenging times and we will be forever in her debt. Among her many accomplishments, she managed the successful implementation of ARRA, led the focus on the biomedical research workforce, and greatly enhanced NIH’s partnership and dialogue with the extramural community, especially through social media and her “Rock Talk” blog where she shares information about NIH grants policy, extramural research activities, and data about NIH-extramural research.
I wish Sally all the best in her new position. We will truly miss her. The good news is that she’s not leaving right away. She will be with us until mid-September while we mount a vigorous search for her successor.
Francis S. Collins