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Anna E. Ordóñez Named Director of NIMH’s Office of Clinical Research

Institute Update

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has selected Anna E. Ordóñez, M.D., M.A.S., as director of the Office of Clinical Research (OCR). Dr. Ordóñez served as acting OCR director since March 2020 and officially began in the role on August 15, 2021.

OCR staff provide oversight for NIMH-funded clinical research studies as well as strategic guidance and recommendations about clinical research initiatives. As director, Dr. Ordóñez will be the principal clinical research advisor to the NIMH Director and NIMH leadership on human subject research protections, data and safety monitoring, and clinical trial operations.

Prior to serving as acting director of OCR, Dr. Ordóñez was the deputy director for the office from 2015-2020. Before that, Dr. Ordóñez served as medical officer of the NIMH Intramural Child Psychiatry Branch, where she engaged in research studies of typical and atypical brain development.

Throughout her career at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Ordóñez has proactively shared her expertise with the broader NIH community. She participated in several NIMH and NIH committees, including the UNITE Initiative , which was established to identify and address structural racism in science. Early in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she volunteered to help the Occupational Medical Service COVID-19 testing service, as well as the staff support line, which provides resources for employees seeking emotional support.

Before joining NIMH, Dr. Ordóñez held a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was the medical director of the Division of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry. She also conducted research studies on evidence-based interventions to enhance psychological resilience in schools in low-resource settings in the United States and Latin America.

Dr. Ordóñez completed her formal medical training at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the NIMH Intramural Child Psychiatry Branch. She then completed her residency, clinical fellowship, a research fellowship in drug abuse treatment and services, and a Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at UCSF. Dr. Ordóñez is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.