Dr. Maria C. Freire was appointed President and Executive Director of Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) on November 2012. The FNIH draws together the world’s foremost researchers and resources in support of the mission of the NIH. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Freire was the President of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, where she established novel programmatic initiatives that expanded the brand and reach of the foundation. From 2001 to 2008, she was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. During her tenure, Dr. Freire took the organization from a nascent operation to a world leader in TB drug development. An internationally recognized expert in technology commercialization, Dr. Freire directed the Office of Technology Transfer at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1995 to 2001. Prior to that, Dr. Freire established and headed the Office of Technology Development at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr. Freire obtained her B.S. degree at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Virginia and completed post-graduate work in immunology and virology at the University of Virginia and the University of Tennessee, respectively. She is active on national and international boards and committees, including appointments as a member of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director, the International Advisory Steering Committee of the Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud (Mexico) and the Association of American Medical Colleges Advisory Panel on Research. Dr. Freire was selected as one of ten Commissioners of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) and a member of the International Advisory Panel to the Ministerial Working Group on Scaling up of Primary Health Systems. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the DHHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service, The Arthur S. Flemming Award and The Bayh-Dole Award. Dr. Freire is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and the Council on Foreign Relations.