The nation’s preeminent infectious-disease expert who achieved unprecedented fame while enduring withering political attacks as the face of the coronavirus pandemic response under two presidents, Anthony S. Fauci, announced plans to step down in December after more than a half-century of public service.
Fauci, 81, has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
He joined the parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, in 1968 as a 27-year-old doctor who had just finished medical residency and was quickly identified as a rising star.
Most recently, Fauci has also served as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser since the start of his administration.
Fauci’s tenure as director of the infectious-diseases institute made him an adviser to seven presidents and put him on the front lines of every modern-day scourge, including AIDS, the 2001 anthrax scares, Ebola, Zika and the coronavirus pandemic. During the nearly four decades Fauci led the agency, it grew from a little-known institute with a $350 million annual budget to a globally recognized powerhouse with a budget exceeding $6 billion.
“I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden,” said Fauci. “I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.”
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges. I am very proud of our many accomplishments,” said Fauci. ” have worked with – and learned from – countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude.”
“Over the past 38 years as NIAID Director, I have had the enormous privilege of serving under and advising seven Presidents of the United States, beginning with President Ronald Reagan, on newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including HIV/AIDS, West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika, among others, and, of course, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fauci. “I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration.”
“While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field,” said Fauci. “I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.”
“Over the coming months, I will continue to put my full effort, passion and commitment into my current responsibilities, as well as help prepare the Institute for a leadership transition.,” said Fauci. “NIH is served by some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I have no doubt that I am leaving this work in very capable hands.”
“Thanks to the power of science and investments in research and innovation, the world has been able to fight deadly diseases and help save lives around the globe,” said Fauci. “I am proud to have been part of this important work and look forward to helping to continue to do so in the future.”