Marie A. Bernard, M.D., serves as Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health. As NIA’s senior geriatrician, she is the principal advisor to the NIA director. She additionally serves as the acting NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity.
For the Department of Health and Human Services, she has co-chaired two Healthy People 2020/2030 objectives: 1) Older Adults and 2) Dementias, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Within NIH she co-chairs the Inclusion Governance Committee that oversees inclusion in clinical research by sex/gender, race/ethnicity, and age — inclusive of pediatric and older adult subjects. She chairs the Women of Color Committee of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers. She also serves on the Diversity Working Group and was a founding member of the NIH Equity Committee. She has been recognized for her leadership by receipt of the Clark Tibbitts Award from the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (2013), the Donald P Kent Award from the Gerontological Society of America (2014), and NIH Director’s Awards in 2018 and 2019. She is the 2020 recipient of the NIH Director’s Award for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Until October 2008 she was the endowed professor and founding chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has held numerous national leadership roles, including serving on the National Institute on Aging Advisory Council, during which she chaired the Council’s Task Force on Minority Aging Research; chair of the Clinical Medicine Section of the Gerontological Society of America; chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Committee; board member of the American Geriatrics Society; president of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education; and president of the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs. She has lectured and published widely in her area of research, nutrition and function in older populations with special focus on underrepresented minorities, as well as related to geriatric education.
She received her undergraduate education at Bryn Mawr College and her MD from University of Pennsylvania. She trained in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, where she also served as chief resident. She has received additional training through the Association of American Medical Colleges Health Services Research Institute, the Geriatric Education Center of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School Executive Development program.