The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Appoints James W. Down and Perry Steiner to Its Board of Directors

NORTH BETHESDA, Md., May 29, 2024 — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) announces two additions to the FNIH Board of Directors: James W. Down, former Vice Chairman of Mercer Management Consulting, and Perry Steiner, Chairman and CEO of Xactus. The new directors bring deep experience in corporate strategy and operations, entrepreneurial ventures, and executive leadership.

“I am excited to welcome Jim and Perry to the FNIH Board,” said Steve Paul, MD, Board Chairman. “Each offers a unique perspective and skill set that will enrich our board of exceptional leaders as we work together to solve complex health challenges and build bridges to scientific breakthroughs for patients.”

Before retiring, Mr. Down was Vice Chairman at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), overseeing the firm’s direction and management. He has been a senior advisor on strategic matters for organizations such as UPS, CSX/Sea-Land, AT&T, Agility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Merck. Additionally, Mr. Down served as Chairman of the Board of Shawmut Construction and Design and was a past director of CDM Smith, ProBuild, Transplace, Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation, Care Group, Horizon Lines, MTG, Oxfam, the CDC Foundation, Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Outward Bound. He earned a BS in engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Steiner is Chairman and CEO of Xactus, the leading technology and data verification company for the mortgage industry. His diverse career encompasses entrepreneurial ventures, executive leadership, and private equity investing. He has held board positions with approximately 20 companies and served as chairman and lead director of businesses in multiple industries. Previously, Mr. Steiner was a Managing Partner at the private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners, and President of the e-commerce outsourcing firm Digital River. Mr. Steiner started his career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, later transitioning to roles at Wasserstein Perella Ventures and TCW Capital. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We are very pleased to have both these accomplished leaders join the FNIH Board of Directors,” said Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of the FNIH. “Jim is an internationally recognized leader in corporate strategy, and his insights will be invaluable as the FNIH continues to expand our public-private partnerships in service of better health for all. With extensive experience in building businesses, finance, and private equity investing, Perry will be able to provide critical guidance as we continue to build financial resources to support biomedical research efforts.”

To learn more about the FNIH Board of Directors, click here.

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) builds public-private partnerships that connect leading biomedical scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with their counterparts in life sciences companies, academia, patient organizations, foundations, and regulatory agencies (including the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency). Through team science, the FNIH solves complex health challenges and accelerates breakthroughs for patients, regardless of who they are or what health threats they face. The FNIH contributes to the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and potential cures; advances global health and equity in care; and celebrates and helps train the next generations of scientists. Established by Congress in 1990 to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about the FNIH, please visit

Follow us on social media: LinkedInXFacebook.