Donna J. Dean

Donna Dean

Donna J. Dean

Senior Federal Executive (Retired)

National Institutes of Health


B.A., Chemistry, Berea College

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Duke University

Dr. Dean focuses on leadership and career enhancement strategies, based on her 27 years of experience as a federal executive. She held senior management and policy positions at the National Institutes of Health in grants peer review, as senior scientific advisor to three NIH Directors, and as founding/acting Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Following her federal career, she was a registered lobbyist for institutions of higher education for five years. Her two books, Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce and Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships, draw from her life-long experiences.

Raised on a tobacco farm in eastern Kentucky, Dr. Dean earned the B.A. in chemistry from Berea College, Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke University, and conducted postdoctoral research in cell and developmental biology at Princeton University. She is an elected fellow of the AAAS, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Association for Women in Science (of which she was national president). Of all the awards she has received, she is most proud of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Berea College in 2007 in recognition of her career achievements in the public sector and for her advocacy for historically underrepresented groups in science and engineering. Dr. Dean has been a member of ACS since her junior year in college. She is on the Board of Trustees of Berea College and leader in a number of community-based organizations. 

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