Vivian W. Pinn ’62
Senior Scientist Emeritus, Fogarty International Center, NIH

Vivian W. Pinn
Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., was, until her retirement at the end of August 2011, the first full-time Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Pinn came to NIH from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she had been Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982. The ORWH was established by Congress to ensure the inclusion of women (and minorities) in clinical research funded by the NIH; Dr. Pinn led NIH efforts to implement and monitor these inclusion policies. Dr. Pinn also co-chaired The NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers, which developed and implemented programs and policies to improve the advancement of women in biomedical careers. Since her retirement, Dr. Pinn has been named as a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the NIH Fogarty International Center.

Dr. Pinn, a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and received her M.D. from the University of Virginia School Of Medicine in 1967, where she was the only woman and only minority in her class. She completed her postgraduate training in Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, during which time she also served as Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Medical School. She was Associate Professor of Pathology and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Tufts before leaving to join the faculty at Howard, when she became the 3rd woman in the United States to Chair an academic department of Pathology. She is a member of long standing in many professional and scientific organizations in which she has held many positions of leadership, including President of the National Medical Association, the second woman to hold the position, in 1989.

Dr. Pinn is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1995. She has received numerous awards from her academic institutions, including: the Alumni Achievement Award from Wellesley College in 1993, the second annual Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Virginia, the UVA Medical School "Alumni Luminary" award, and the "Tufts University School of Medicine Dean's Medal." Numerous offices have been named in her honor, such as: the "Vivian W. Pinn Distinguished Lecture in Health Disparities," "Vivian Pinn College of UVA" at UVA, (May 2011), and the "Vivian W. Pinn Office of Student Affairs." Medical Societies, Academies, the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress have honored her contributions to women in medicine throughout her forty year career.