In January 2012, the NIA welcomed Patrick Shirdon as director for management. Mr. Shirdon will oversee business management functions involving human resources, budget, ethics, travel, procurement, space and facilities, and general administration. He takes over from Lynn Hellinger, who retired at the end of December.
Mr. Shirdon comes to NIA from the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was executive officer. He is quite familiar, however, with the NIA and aging research—in 2004-2005, he served as budget officer at the Institute. Mr. Shirdon’s background in economics and business, experience well-suited to the fiscal and management challenges that NIA and all of NIH face in the near term. His aim in returning to NIA is to continue to improve NIA’s successful programs of research on health and aging, managing resources in efficient and innovative ways to support NIA’s scientific mission as the population ages.
“I have been very interested in the science at the various institutes I have been part of. I think now is a particularly good time to be at the aging institute, as interest and importance in what we do is growing with the aging of the population,” Mr. Shirdon says. “The challenge is—how do we get the maximum return on our investment, how do we prioritize so that we can accomplish our mission to help improve quality of life and diminish disease with aging? I am excited to be at NIA.”
Mr. Shirdon began his NIH career in the Office of Financial Management in 1992 and spent most of his career working in the NIH budget community. After his stint at NIA, he became deputy executive officer at NIMH in 2005 and in 2008 was promoted to lead that institute administratively.
Mr. Shirdon earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a master’s degree in business management from Johns Hopkins University.