Richard Aragon Named Director of NIGMS Division of Data Integration, Modeling, and Analytics

Announcement Date:
Erica Richard Aragon 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Richard Aragon, Ph.D., as director of the Institute's Division of Data Integration, Modeling, and Analytics (DIMA). Aragon has been acting director of DIMA since January 2020.

DIMA is NIGMS’ central nexus for data-driven discussions, decisions, and actions. The Division provides the Institute with robust data and information that aid in the efficient administration of all NIGMS programs and in the proper stewardship of taxpayer resources.

“DIMA provides expert analysis and evaluation of NIGMS programs, leads our Institute’s strategic planning activities, and coordinates responses to requests for information from Congress, NIH leadership, and the Administration,” Lorsch said. “As we set to embark on the launch of the NIGMS 2021-2025 Strategic Plan this spring, Richard’s extensive expertise in spearheading these activities makes him the ideal candidate to lead this critical component of the Institute.”

Aragon joined NIGMS in 2014 as chief of what was then the Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. In this role, he evolved and expanded the capabilities of the Office to include predictive analytics, budget and fiscal modeling, and the use of artificial intelligence to enhance business processes. He also oversaw the publication of the previous NIGMS strategic plan. Prior to NIGMS, Aragon held two positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources within the Office of the HHS Secretary: directing the Division of Program Integrity Assessment, Integration, and Oversight and the Division of Outreach, Communications, and Training. As part of these roles, he established HHS’ enterprise risk management capabilities. Before his positions at HHS, he was a program director in the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations at the National Cancer Institute.

Aragon earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from George Washington University Medical Center and conducted postdoctoral research at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the recipient of numerous HHS and NIH awards, including the NIH Director’s Award, NIH Merit Award, and HHS Deputy Secretary’s Certificate of Excellence for his role in the successful rollout and functional integration of the ReImagine HHS initiatives.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that DIMA becomes the leading center and model of data and operational excellence at NIGMS and NIH, both for the scientific community and the many other communities and individuals we are privileged to serve,” said Aragon.