A black and white portrait of Vivian Pinn. She is wearing pearls, a pin, and a black blazer.

Vivian W. Pinn is a senior scientist emerita at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She was the first full-time director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, an appointment she held from1991 to 2011. In 1994 she was also named associate director for research on women’s health (NIH). She came to the NIH from Howard University College of Medicine, where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982. In this position, she became the third woman to chair an academic department of pathology in the U.S.

Dr. Pinn had previously held appointments at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School. She served as the eighty-eighth president (and second woman president) of the National Medical Association from 1989 to 1990.

Dr. Pinn is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1995. In 2011 the Association of American Medical Colleges honored her with a Special Achievement Award for her exceptional leadership in health care. The Congress on Women’s Health presented her its first Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health in 2012.

She earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where she graduated with honors as the only woman and the only minority member of her class.

Additional Information

Biography from the National Library of Medicine

Explorations in Black Leadership Interview

Biography from American Medical Women’s Association

Profile from Washington University, St. Louis

Health Care Hall of Fame (video)

Biography of Dr. Pinn from the University of Virginia