WASHINGTON, DC — Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Executive Director Joe V. Selby, MD, MPH, has informed PCORI’s Board of Governors that he plans to retire at the end of 2019.

PCORI, authorized by Congress in 2010, is the nation’s first and only organization dedicated to funding research comparing two or more treatments or care approaches to determine which works best, for whom, given a patient’s particular circumstances and the outcomes they care about.

Selby was named PCORI’s Executive Director in May 2011. Under his leadership, PCORI was built from scratch as a private, independent, publicly supported research funder charged with generating evidence that helps patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions. To date, PCORI has awarded more than $2.4 billion in support for research and related projects, a growing number of which have produced results being applied in practice.

“This timing is right for this personal decision, which comes at a natural transition point in PCORI’s history,” Selby said. “I make it with satisfaction and with complete confidence that our stakeholders recognize the value of PCORI’s work, and that Congress will as well and reauthorize our funding in coming months. I’m equally confident that PCORI has the leadership, both at the Board and staff level to make this transition at this time. 

“It's because of that confidence that I want to be sure there is sufficient time to plan an orderly leadership transition that will effectively position PCORI to continue to fulfill its crucial mission well into the future as the nation’s primary stakeholder-guided funder of health research,” he said.

PCORI’s Board has established a transition committee to work with a major national executive search firm to oversee the process of identifying Selby’s successor. Selby will remain Executive Director, with ongoing oversight of all organizational activities, through the end of the year.

“Thanks to Joe’s leadership, PCORI’s work is well organized and producing results that can improve decision making, patient care and outcomes across a wide range of conditions,” said PCORI Board Chairperson Grayson Norquist, MD, MSPH. “We share Joe’s confidence in PCORI’s staff and processes.  They have laid the foundation for us to continue our work for years to come.”

“The growing collection of published findings generated by PCORI’s research portfolio is exciting, as are many of our newer information resources, such as systematic reviews, evidence maps and horizon scans. All of these are helping our stakeholders fill gaps in the evidence base and address the healthcare questions they face daily,” Selby said. “Our fundamental commitment from the start to work closely with patients and caregivers, clinicians and payers, is what distinguishes PCORI, and we will not waver from that commitment.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege and honor to serve as PCORI’s Executive Director and work with an exceptionally committed staff, Board of Governors, and Methodology Committee. I have also appreciated the opportunity and privilege of interacting with a remarkable community of awardees, patients, clinicians, payers and purchasers, and other stakeholder partners to help make the healthcare system more effective, efficient, and patient-centered,” Selby said.

A family physician, clinical epidemiologist and health services researcher, Selby has more than 35 years of experience in patient care, research and administration. A native of Fulton, Mo., Selby is a graduate of Quincy University, received his MD from Northwestern University and his MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service Corps from 1976 to 1983 and received the Commissioned Officer’s Award in 1981.

Selby joined PCORI following a successful 27-year career at Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, where he was Director of the Division of Research for his final 13 years. An accomplished researcher, Selby has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and continues to conduct research, primarily in the areas of diabetes outcomes and quality improvement. Selby was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in 2009.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information they need to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the nation’s leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). By comparing two or more health or healthcare approaches, CER generates evidence that helps people make better-informed decisions and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes. PCORI takes a holistic approach to its work, ensuring that patients and other health decision makers are engaged as partners throughout the research process, supporting dissemination and implementation of results in practice and strengthening clinical research infrastructure to advance patient-centered CER. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress.

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