For Immediate Release
Monday, April 2, 2018
NIH Clinical Center names U.S. Navy Captain Pius Aiyelawo as chief operating officer of the research hospital
U.S. Navy Captain Pius Aiyelawo (retired) begins his tenure today as chief operating officer (COO) of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the nation’s largest hospital devoted to clinical research. Aiyelawo fills a COO role newly expanded to now include management of most clinical as well as administrative areas. He reports directly to Chief Executive Officer Dr. James K. Gilman at the renowned 200-bed facility on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Pius’s tremendous healthcare leadership experience is matched only by a positive energy and spirit that will inspire both patients and staff,” said Gilman. “After a very competitive national search, I am convinced he is the right person to help us raise the bar ever higher in delivering safe, high quality patient-centric care.”
Aiyelawo held senior leadership positions in hospitals and large medical research programs throughout a distinguished military career spanning over 27 years. His most recent appointments included as Assistant Deputy Director, Research and Development, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Falls Church, Virginia, and as COO/Deputy Commander of Naval Medical Research & Development Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. Also, he has served as the Commanding Officer of the largest Navy’s healthcare facility, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan, where he led the successful planning, transition, and relocation to the new $650 million hospital complex.
Aiyelawo’s awards include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with one gold star, Navy Achievement Medal, service and unit awards.
Following retirement from the U.S. Navy in 2013, Aiyelawo served as Senior Program Director at General Dynamics Health Solutions, Silver Spring, Maryland.
He has taught healthcare courses throughout the world. Since 2014, he has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda.
Aiyelawo holds a bachelor of arts in management science from Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, and received a masters of public administration from University of Alaska, Anchorage. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, on the Board of Directors for HelpAge USA, and a member of the Society for International Development.
“I am grateful to the NIH senior leadership and Dr. Gilman for this opportunity and truly humbled to be selected as the Chief Operating Officer of the finest and premiere research hospital in the world,” Aiyelawo said.
Often called the “House of Hope,” the Clinical Center last year had more than 5,000 inpatient admissions and 100,000 outpatient visits. Patients come from all 50 states and throughout the world. Every patient at the Clinical Center is on a research protocol.
About the NIH Clinical Center: The NIH Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, clinician-investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. More information: https://
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.