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Executive Secretariat

Roles and Responsibilities Statement

As a confidential agent of the NIH Director and Principal Deputy Director and part of the Immediate Office of the Director, the Executive Secretariat (ES), supports their responsiveness, decision-making, meeting participation, and legacy.  Serving as the action office for the NIH Director and Principal Deputy Director, ES manages all correspondence, policy, and administrative documents including:

  • the NIH Director and Principal Deputy Director’s official email and other internal and external correspondence, including mail from Congress to anyone at NIH
  • assignments from HHS and the Executive Office of the President (OMB, OSTP, etc.)
  • meeting materials
  • official invitations, meeting requests, and internal or external event participation requests (vetting, sending regrets, metrics)
  • congressional and other reports and strategic plans
  • courtesy letters (e.g., appreciation, retirement, etc.)
  • signature requests, such as providing the NIH Director and/or Principal Deputy Director’s signature on certificates, forms, and awards
  • all staff emails from the NIH Director or Principal Deputy Director (only messages from them)
  • FOIA and other search requests of the NIH Director’s and Principal Deputy Director’s email, correspondence, and other records
  • retention, archiving, and management of the NIH Director and Principal Deputy Director’s records.

ES  determines how correspondence and other official documents should be triaged; assigns and clears them with relevant NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices;  adjudicates comments; and edits drafts for clarity, tone, consistency, and responsiveness.  ES sets NIH-wide document preparation standards and guidelines and is the business owner of an enterprise-wide document and records management system, known as SAAVI (Synthesize, Analyze, Adjudicate and Vet Information).

Contact Us

You can contact us at the following address, phone number, or fax number:

Executive Secretariat
Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health
Shannon Building (Building 1), Room B1-56
1 Center Drive, MSC 0122
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0122
Phone: 301-496-1461
Fax: 301-496-8276

To submit suggestions for improvements to SAAVI, please send email messages to


This page last reviewed on October 19, 2020

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