Frank Blanchard began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter and then wire service editor for the Associated Press bureau in Atlanta. He covered politics, civil rights, and the earliest federal health alerts pointing to the AIDS crisis. He left journalism in 1985 to be a science writer for the University of Michigan news office, covering everything from physics to public health to engineering. He subsequently worked for two major foundations supporting research and education in the biomedical sciences. He was senior information officer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Bethesda, Md., and then director of communications for the Whitaker Foundation in Arlington, Va. When Whitaker closed in 2006, Blanchard became public affairs director for SAIC-Frederick, now Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., which operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The lab works to maximize the impact of discovery on health care.
Blanchard grew up in Gainesville, Fla., eldest son of a college professor and stay-at-home mom. He preferred pick-up street games to organized sports until college, when he earned a black belt and taught Cuong Nhu karate. Blanchard is active in the United Methodist Church, a former board member of the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, a board member of the Fort Detrick Alliance, 2010 graduate of Leadership Frederick County and a volunteer for Germantown Help and the Frederick County chapter of the American Cancer Society. He is married and has six children and three grandchildren.