Meredith D. Temple-O’Connor became director of science policy in early 2019. As such, she oversees the NCATS Policy Branch, which analyzes issues relevant to translational science and fosters relationships with NCATS stakeholders to develop and implement effective science policies. She and her staff address a variety of legislative, regulatory, and science policy issues and activities that are relevant to the spectrum of translational science — including developing science policy briefings, providing oversight of the strategic planning process and engaging with government, academic, nonprofit and private sectors. Her staff also is responsible for analysis and evaluation and, in coordination with NIH colleagues, for providing reports and other information to Congress.
During her NIH career, Temple-O’Connor has held several positions in extramural program, review and NIH policy, including as senior scientific advisor to the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research and as NIH Inclusion Policy Officer. Before joining NCATS, she was senior policy advisor for clinical research in the Division of Extramural Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Temple-O’Connor holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biological psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, with postdoctoral training in neuroscience at the University of Virginia and Georgetown University. A highly trained and skilled leader, Temple-O’Connor has served on or chaired more than 30 committees, including numerous trans-NIH and Institute/Center committees, as well as working groups addressing different issues related to research, policy development and implementation, and electronic data system integration.
Temple-O’Connor enjoys solving complex policy issues and streamlining implementation to ensure that the NCATS and NIH missions are achieved effectively. She also enjoys mentoring and fostering a love for and understanding of science. She is passionate about working to transform the translation of scientific discovery to improve public health.