About Us

FHI Foundation history

Responding to its Board’s urging in the early ’80s to diversify organizational funding, Family Health International (FHI, then later renamed FHI 360) in 1986 leveraged its global clinical research experience with contraceptives in low-resource settings by marketing it to pharmaceutical firms within the U.S.


In anticipation of a multi-million dollar agreement to provide clinical research services to Merck & Co., FHI formed a commercial subsidiary, Clinical Research International (CRI), for implementation. CRI grew rapidly, becoming the first multinational, full-service clinical research organization.

With the sale of CRI to ClinTrials Research in 1990, the FHI Board of Directors formed the FHI Foundation to focus on the management of this new endowment to further the mission and programs of FHI. Since 1990, the Foundation has annually provided financial support to strengthen the work of FHI 360.

In 1999, the Foundation acquired PharmaLink, a small clinical research start-up that was designed to electronically to manage the clinical trial process. As the majority shareholder of PharmaLinkFHI, later named Novella Clinical, the Foundation progessively encouraged the growth of this specialized company, achieving a staff of over 800 with offices in the U.S. and Europe when it was sold to Quintiles in 2013.

The sale of Novella Clinical significantly increased the Foundation’s endowment and its ability to enhance the expertise, capacities and impact of FHI 360 over the long term. The FHI Foundation is now well-positioned to partner with foundations and other entities to fund life changing work around the world.

FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories.