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Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., Director Emeritus (2015-2019), National Library of Medicine
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D.

Director Emeritus (2015-2019), National Library of Medicine
Director (1984-2015), National Library of Medicine
Former Director, National HPCC Coordinating Office (1992-1995)

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., a scientist who had pioneered in applying computer technology to health care beginning in 1960 at the University of Missouri, in 1984 was appointed Director of the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest biomedical library (annual budget $400 million; nearly 829 career staff). From 1992-1995, he served in a concurrent position as founding Director of the White House High Performance Computing and Communications Program, (annual budget $1.1 billion; 12 federal agencies, including DOD, DOE, NSF, NASA, HHS, VHA, DOC, EPA). In 1996, he was named by the HHS Secretary to be the U.S. Coordinator for the G-7 Global Healthcare Applications Project. He is a leader in the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) initiative to improve health and health care.

In addition to an eminent career in pathology, Dr. Lindberg had made notable contributions to information and computer activities in medical diagnosis, artificial intelligence, and educational programs. Before his appointment as NLM Director, he was Professor of Information Science and Professor of Pathology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Lindberg was elected the first President of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). He is also a founding member of the Health on the Net Foundation, an international organization devoted to guiding patients and providers to sound, reliable health information. As the country’s senior statesman for medicine and computers, he had been called upon to serve on many boards including the Computer Science and Engineering Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Board of Medical Examiners, the Council of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Lindberg was the author of three books: The Computer and Medical Care; Computers in Life Science Research; and The Growth of Medical Information Systems in the United States, several book chapters, and more than 200 articles and reports. He had served as editor and editorial board member of nine publications including the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Lindberg graduated Magna cum Laude from Amherst College and received his M.D. degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. Among the honors he received are Phi Beta Kappa, Simpson Fellow of Amherst College, Markle Scholar in Academic Medicine, Surgeons General’s Medallions, recipient of the First AMA Nathan Davis Award for outstanding Member of the Executive Branch in Career Public Service, the Walter C. Alvarez Memorial Award of the American Medical Writers Association, the Presidential Senior Executive Rank Award, Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Outstanding Service Medal of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 Award, Computers in Healthcare Pioneer Award, Association of Minority Health Professions Schools Commendation, RCI High Performance Computing Industry Recognition Award, U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science Silver Award, Council of Biology Editors Meritorious Award, Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service, Medical Library Association President’s Award, American College of Medical Informatics Morris F. Collen, M.D. Award of Excellence, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award, New York Academy of Medicine Information Frontier Award, Cosmos Club Award, American Medical Women’s Association Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award, U.S. Medicine Frank Brown Berry Prize, University of North Carolina Louis Round Wilson Academy Prize for Lifetime Achievement, NFAIS Miles Conrad Award, Research!America Builders of Science Award, and the CNI Paul Evan Peters Award, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Lindberg received honorary doctorates from Amherst College, the State University of New York at Syracuse, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Innsbruck, Austria, and Old Dominion University.

Last Reviewed: August23, 2019