The newly established Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which is housed within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has named Kevin Duvall as its acting chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO).

Duvall comes to ARPA-H after serving as the acting CIO and CTO at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which is also a component of HHS.

“I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new role as chief technology officer/chief information officer (Acting) at Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H),” he wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Working in a dual capacity, both ACF and ARPA-H are developing and leading next-generation infrastructures to support the advancement of health and human services for the American people and beyond!”

Prior to his time at ACF, Duvall served at HHS for over three years in a variety of roles, including acting chief data officer, deputy chief data officer, senior technical advisor, and enterprise architect. Previously, he held a number of IT and tech roles at the University of Virginia.

ARPA-H sits within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as an independent entity, and just celebrated its first 100 days. President Biden made ARPA-H official through the fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill, which included $1 billion to create the new agency.

During a May 2021 hearing to discuss the establishment of ARPA-H, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra explained that by having a separate agency dedicated to advanced disease research within NIH, ARPA-H will be able to “accelerate” health breakthroughs and build upon NIH’s existing research portfolio.

The idea for ARPA-H is based on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is a research and development agency within the Department of Defense, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) organization within the Department of Energy.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.