HHS Names ORI Officials to Permanent Positions
Elisabeth Handley, who has served as the interim director of the HHS Office of Research Integrity for the past seven months, has been named to the post permanently, according to a March 3 announcement on the ORI website. ORI is responsible for making findings of research misconduct, defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, in Public Health Service-funded research. ORI has been roiled by a series of leadership departures during the past several years and still remains short one division director. Handley was named interim director in August, replacing Wanda Jones, who had been the interim director since December 2017, following the departure of Kathy Partin from the top post. In the March 3 announcement, HHS also stated that Jones has been named associate director for research and scientific integrity, which appears to be a new title within ORI. She will also continue as the deputy director, a position to which she was appointed in June of last year after serving as the acting deputy.
The appointments still leave ORI without someone leading one of its two divisions. ORI has not had a director of its Division of Education and Integrity since Zoe Hammond left in December 2016. Alex Runko was named director of the Division of Investigative Oversight in July, following the November 2017 resignation of Susan Garfinkel, who had been with ORI since 2003. The departure of both Hammond and Garfinkel were attributed to the tumultuous leadership of Partin, who was ORI’s director for nearly two years until she was detailed to a post outside HHS in December 2017—a move that led to a series of interim ORI directors, including Jones. The previous deputy director, Scott Moore, was hired by Partin from the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General (OIG) in 2016. He left ORI to join the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in January 2019 as the deputy director of the Office of Grants Management, a post he had held for seven months while also serving as ORI’s deputy director. Partin has been NIH’s integrity officer since December of 2018.