A delegation from Vietnam presented this book of photographs by Dao Hoa Nu to Acting NIH Director Ruth Kirschstein on October 4th, 2000. Vietnam and the U.S. have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation in their respective health and medical science communities.
Made from a type of ceramics found only in Puebla, Mexico, this glazed earthenware plate was given to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni during a trip there in 2004. His visit led to a renewal of a cooperation agreement between NIH and the Mexico National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT). The agreement called for 50:50 funding of visiting fellows to the NIH, identifying areas for joint research, and for close collaboration between NIH, CONACYT, and INSalud ( the NIH of Mexico).
In 2000, Acting NIH Director Ruth Kirschstein was given this beautiful rosewood pen set by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) at the Forum on Hispanic Higher Education. HACU has sponsored its National Internship Program since 1992, and many interns come to the NIH and are subsequently hired in full-time positions.
The Croatian National Tourist Board gave this gift pack to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni when he spoke at a clinical oncology workshop in 2007. The pack contains books, DVDs, a keychain, an ornament, a pen, and a lavender sachet. The workshop focused on cancer prevention and treatment strategies for Croatia, which had a much higher mortality rate from cancer than the U.S., despite having the same overall incidence.
NIH director Elias Zerhouni received this replica of a Korean golden crown from the Silla Dynasty from Hwa-Joong Kim, Korean Minister of Health and Welfare, in 2003. The replica, decorated with gold beads and small pieces of jade, is encased in lucite. HHS and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare have a long-standing Memo of Understanding concerning health and medical sciences. In addition, in 2013, the South Korean Health Industry Development Institute announced that it would fund 12 postdoctoral fellowships at the NIH.
This charming watercolor of a street in Warsaw was given to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni in 2008 by a delegation from Poland. NIH scientists have had many fruitful collaborations with Polish scientists; in 2006, Poland and the U.S. signed a Science and Technology Agreement encouraging scientists and engineers to exchange scientific and technical knowledge.
This lovely watercolor painting of a town by the sea was given to NIH Director Bernadine Healy on the occasion of an NIH Alumni Association reception at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1991. The Sigma Tau foundation, which promotes understanding between the sciences and humanities, sponsored the reception, and was noted in the written caption on the painting, which reads “The Sigma Tau Foundation meets the Italian Scientific Community [at the] Embassy of Italy.”
The NIH has a long history of collaboration with Italy, for example, in 2011 NIDA signed a formal collaboration agreement with Italy’s Department of Anti-Drug Policies to study prevention and treatment of drug addiction.
Many cultures value gift-giving as a way to solidify relationships. As representatives of an institution with global impact, NIH directors often receive gifts which they are prohibited by law from keeping. This cross-stitched and quilted tablecloth was a gift from Zhang Wenkang, the Chinese Minister of Health, to Dr. Ruth Kirschstein when she was acting director of the NIH.
NIH has had an agreement with the Chinese Academy of Sciences for cooperation in the basic biomedical sciences since 1983 and has consistently been one of the top two countries from which visiting fellows at the NIH hail. NIAID, NCI, and NCCAM all have ongoing collaborative agreements with Chinese institutions and scientists.
This “View of the City of Magdeburg” is a selection from the “Picturesque German City Views” calendar which was sent to NIH Director Bernadine Healy in 1991 by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C. The NIH collaborates with many European countries, including Germany, to improve global health, and received a visit from the Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Ulla Schmidt, in 2006