About PRIDE 2016

NIH PRIDE Celebration 2016


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pride 2016 Observance is produced in partnership with The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, The Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office, and The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Understanding Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Health and Wellbeing

Addressing the unique health challenges confronting sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations have merited increase research attention among National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and administrators alike. Despite increasing social acceptance, SGM populations continue to experience worse health outcomes than the general population. In affirmative employment, national trend data suggest that, when compared to heterosexual employees, SGM workers face higher levels of workplace discrimination and harassment.

The NIH commitment to advancing equality for SGM populations occurs across the Institutes, Centers, and Offices through both individual and coordinated trans-NIH efforts. NIH has taken many steps to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all persons to work and discover. We implemented workplace non-discrimination policies that prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We developed programs aimed at creating greater equality in affirmative employment and in biomedical research that focuses on SGM populations. We increased educational trainings, bolstered funding opportunities to address the research communities. And, in 2015 we established the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office.

Who We Are

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) – is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s premiere biomedical research agency. NIMHD’s work touches the lives of millions of Americans burdened by disparities in health status and health care delivery, including racial and ethnic minority groups, rural populations, populations with low socioeconomic status, and other population groups.

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s (OEDI) Sexual and Gender Minority Portfolio – is committed to fostering a workplace atmosphere that supports SGM employees. The SGM Portfolio is an equal employment opportunity program that works to ensure that equal opportunity for SGM employees are present in all aspects of the agency’s programs and services.

The Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) – coordinates sexual and gender minority – related research and research-related activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. 

Our Community

NIH’s success is tied in so many ways to our ability to build and maintain a diverse workforce that reflects all genders, all races and ethnicities, all socioeconomic statuses, all faiths, and all levels of ability.

Our Commitments

NIH is strongly committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity (EEO), diversity, and inclusion. We embrace the diversity that our employees bring to the NIH and believe this diversity inspires innovation and elevates unlimited success in pursing our mission. We further commit ourselves to an inclusive workplace where we welcome and respect the views and perspectives of all employees by recognizing and appreciating their unique skills, talents, and abilities.

Whether you are graduating with a bachelor’s degree, entering the workforce for the first time, changing careers, or working on your doctoral degree, NIH offers a place for you to start, and plenty of room to grow. Discover a career at NIH.


Salutaris is a voluntary, employee-led group that serves as a resource for SGM employees and fellows as well as other NIH constituencies.

Salutaris is an organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Two-spirit, and Ally (LGBTI2SA) staff. The mission of Salutaris is to foster an atmosphere at NIH that is open and inclusive of all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Salutaris provides a forum for LGBTI2SA staff to meet, network, and discuss issues important to its community. The organization works in concert with the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) to coordinate social activities and sponsor educational programs open to all members of the NIH community.

Celebrating Your Uniqueness Everyday

At the NIH, we know the true value in harnessing our employees' diverse perspectives to drive scientific discovery, not just in the month of June, but 365 days a year. This month’s events are an example of the work and discourse that we employ throughout the year. Celebrate diversity with us, place these events on your calendar and learn more about how we are fostering an inclusionary community every single day of the year!

Our Team

The NIH Pride Month Committee is comprised of individuals from various Institutes, Centers and Offices across the NIH.

Albert Earnest Smith, Jr.
Trained in black cultural studies, queer theory, religious studies, ethics, and critical race studies, Albert Earnest Smith, Jr.’s passion for justice and equality sits in the nexus of academia, community development, public policy, and grass-root activism. Committed to advocacy for those who are behind glass walls, Albert moves continuously between polar worlds – brokering a diversity of interests and beliefs to secure equal protections and human rights through policy and reform.

As the inaugural Sexual and Gender Minority Portfolio Strategist at the National Institutes of Health, Albert advocates for the SGM workforce. Through recruitment, hiring, training, promotions, separations, awards, and other employment actions that impact SGM individuals in the workplace, Albert’s work in civil rights encompasses all aspects of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in department programs and employment.

Karen Parker, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Dr. Karen Parker currently serves in the newly established NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives in the NIH Office of the Director. Dr. Parker came to the NIH Office of the Director on detail from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), when she was asked to assist in the establishment of the SGMRO. In this capacity, she oversees all aspects of the SGMRO, including the implementation of the trans-NIH SGM strategic plan. She works across the agency’s 27 Institutes and Centers to identify common areas of interest and opportunities for collaborations and focuses on leveraging NIH resources to develop initiatives to support SGM health research and related activities. Dr. Parker manages information dissemination related to SGM research and communicates to the extramural research community, advocates, and other stakeholders about NIH priorities in SGM research and related activities.

Dr. Parker serves as Co-Chair of the trans-NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Coordinating Committee. She also represents NIH in dealings with the Department of Health and Human Services, other government entities, and various other stakeholders such as advocacy groups and researchers.

Dr. Parker began her NIH career in 2001 when she accepted a position at NCI as a Presidential Management Fellow; upon completion of the fellowship, she began working as Special Assistant to the President’s Cancer Panel, a position she held for five years. Following her work with the President’s Cancer Panel, Dr. Parker moved to the NCI Office of Science Planning and Assessment, where she served as the NCI Women’s Health Officer and Acting Branch Chief. As the Women’s Health Officer, she coordinated activities with women’s health offices across NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services, including an administrative grant program. As Acting Chief of the Science Planning and Coordination Branch, Dr. Parker oversaw all planning and coordination activities in the office and worked on the senior staff team on a variety of office-wide activities. She has provided service to several organizations and is Past-President of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Dr. Parker received her B.A. in English from Indiana University and her M.S.W. from the University of Michigan, where she studied community organization, social policy, and evaluation. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Ryan Mahon, M.S.W.
Mr. Mahon serves as a program analyst in the newly established NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) in the NIH Office of the Director. He also serves as a program analyst for the Tribal Health Research Office (THRO) also located within DPSCPSI. Mr. Mahon came to NIH from consultant work in research and evaluation in human services. In that capacity he was responsible for managing technical assistance on the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), which collected data from 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Mr. Mahon began his career in social work interning at the DC Rape Crisis Center, and working full-time as a research assistant on NCANDS. Since that time, he has served as a clinician and a researcher in a variety of public and private settings, including state, local, and national governments, as well as internationally and with Tribal governments. The focus of his work has been on empowering individual people to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, and alternatively to create systems that enhance the health and well-being of their clients, community members, or constituents.

Mr. Mahon received his B.A. in psychology, with a minor in history, from American University in Washington, DC, and his M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he completed a dual concentration in clinical and administrative social work.

Nathaniel Stinson, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Stinson is Director, Division of Extramural Scientific Programs at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Stinson began his federal career in Arizona as a medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps where he practiced family medicine at the Indian Health Service's Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility. In 1999 he was appointed as the acting deputy assistant secretary for minority health, DHHS. One year later he was named HHS' deputy assistant secretary for health, serving as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary for health and the secretary, DHHS.

Stinson earned his doctorate in environmental biology from the University of Colorado; doctor of medicine degree from the University of Colorado Medical School; and masters of public health degree in health services administration from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Stinson is a board-certified family practice specialist. He is the recipient of several awards. His awards include the Louis B. Stokes Leadership Award from the National Medical Association, U.S. Public Health Service Awards, Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal, Outstanding Service Medal, Crises Response Service Award and National Emergency Preparedness Service Ribbon.

Susannah Allison, Ph.D.
Dr. Allison is a Program Officer at the National Institute of Mental Health within the Infants, Children and Adolescents Research Program in the Division of AIDS Research. The program supports neurobehavioral and psychosocial studies involving infants, children, and adolescents that are infected with HIV, affected by HIV, or at-risk for HIV. For the past 10 years, she has overseen a portfolio of grants both domestically and internationally that focus on youth and HIV. Dr. Allison is one of the co-chairs of the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Coordinating Committee (SGMRCC) at the NIH. She is also involved in a number of NIH research networks including the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network (ATN) and the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). Prior to working at NIMH, Dr. Allison worked with children and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Baltimore, Miami, and Washington, DC. She completed her graduate studies at the George Washington University where she received a PhD in Clinical Child Psychology with an emphasis in child health psychology.

Vanessa A. White, M.P.H.
Ms. White is a Program Analyst at the National Institutes of Health, Office of AIDS Research (OAR), where she helps coordinate the scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of the NIH AIDS research program in the Microbicides and Women and Girls HIV Research sections. She is also a Contracting Officer Representative, managing a professional support services contract for OAR. Vanessa is the OAR representative on the Sexual and Gender Minorities Research Coordinating Committee and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease/Division of AIDS Cross Network Transgender Working Group as well as an OAR representative to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Work Group on Developmental Indicator for Transgender Populations.

Vanessa previously worked in the US DHHS/Office of Population Affairs, where she managed the HIV Prevention Initiative in the Title X Family Planning Program and worked on issues related to reproductive health, including family planning, preconception health, and infant mortality. Vanessa has also worked at several public health associations, including the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, where she was the Associate Director of Women's and Infant Health. Additionally, she has experience in community and state-level public health as a Program Specialist with the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Health and Human Services in both the maternal and child health and emergency preparedness programs. Vanessa holds a Master of Public Health from Boston University. She lives with her partner in the Park View neighborhood of Washington, DC.