The Trustees of HHMI have elected Nitin Kotak as vice president and chief financial officer. He joins the Institute from Bethesda-based Technest Holdings, Inc.

Nitin KotakThe Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have elected Nitin Kotak as vice president and chief financial officer.

Kotak, 53, joins the Institute from Bethesda-based Technest Holdings, Inc., where he was chief financial officer and treasurer. He succeeds Edward J. Palmerino, who has held the post since 2006, and who will remain with the Institute through April 30.

“Nitin comes to us with great enthusiasm for our mission and significant experience in financial analysis, reporting, and compliance,” said Cheryl Moore, HHMI’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “He is a strong addition to our management team and we’re pleased to welcome him to the Institute.”

A native of India, Kotak holds a bachelor of commerce degree and graduated with first class honors in accounting and auditing from the University of Calcutta. He is a senior member of three major professional institutes in India – the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Company Secretaries and the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants. In addition, he has attended management programs at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Kotak started his career in 1981 working as the assistant company secretary for a Tata group enterprise, Tinplate Company of India. He then spent more than 17 years working at ITC Limited, the Indian associate of the Fortune 500 British American Tobacco and one of India’s top 15 companies, where he held a variety of finance-related positions. In 1999 he moved to India-based Mattel Toys, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., as its chief financial officer.

Kotak moved to the U.S. in 2003 to become director of finance and accounting for Able Laboratories, Inc., a publicly traded developer and manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. A year later, he became Able’s vice president for finance and accounting.

Kotak joined Technest in 2005 as vice president for finance and operations and became chief financial officer and treasurer in 2008. Technest provides advanced sensor technologies and services to the National Institutes of Health, defense, homeland security, military, and intelligence agencies.

At HHMI, Kotak will oversee budget and financial analysis, the controller’s office, treasury, internal audit, and procurement.

“I am very excited at this opportunity to be a part of this outstanding organization and work in a spirit of giving back to the community. I feel honored to be selected for this great responsibility,” said Kotak.

Kotak also serves as the President of the Maryland-based Washington Kali Temple, an Indian religious and cultural center.

Kotak and his wife, Dipti, live in Silver Spring and have two sons: Akshay, 24, is pursuing a doctorate in financial economics at the University of Oxford in England; Anant, 21, is a senior at the University of Maryland and is pursuing a degree in accounting and finance.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays a powerful role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the country and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research. For more information, visit

During fiscal 2010, the Institute made disbursements of $889 million, including $738 million for scientific research and $89 million in grants to support science education and international research. The Institute’s endowment at the close of fiscal 2010 stood at $14.8 billion.

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Jim Keeley 301.215.8858