Inaugural Director

Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Created by the Texas Legislature as a state agency and established by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, the Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute (TEPHI) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) seeks its inaugural Director. TEPHI’s goals are to ensure the state is on the forefront of pandemic readiness and response, and to collaboratively prepare Texas for future threats by creating a Public Health Reserve based on a “surge capacity reservist” model for pandemic preparedness. As a critical component of the first line of defense for Texas public health, TEPHI will provide workforce and infrastructure preparedness and response for the State of Texas and an integrated research program examining the long-term health impacts of a pandemic.

TEPHI will prepare Texas for the next high consequence emerging infectious agent, e.g., epi- or pandemic, and the resulting public health emergency by designing, piloting, and collaboratively launching a statewide response plan that is strategic, effective, efficient, inclusive, and specific to the needs of Texans. TEPHI will be a multidisciplinary collaboration that will leverage lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, train the existing and future public health workforce, model and prepare for future pandemics and disasters, and tailor the state’s response to the next public health emergency in order to protect the public, schools, businesses, and the overall economy.

Although TEPHI has an expansive list of academic, government, and private-sector partners, TEPHI is closely associated with the UTHealth School of Public Health which spans across multiple campuses including Houston, Dallas, Austin, Brownsville, El Paso, and San Antonio. This broad geographic representation enables the institute to address the unique regional needs and challenges associated with pandemic and disaster preparedness. The institute will draw on the vast resources of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) including the Cizik School of Nursing, School of Biomedical Informatics, School of Dentistry, McGovern Medical School, MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences along with the School of Public Health. Organizing TEPHI to be a collaborative agency to prepare Texas for the next emerging infectious, epidemic, or pandemic threat requires developing and maintaining successful partnerships with other public health agencies (including the Texas Department of State Health Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local public health authorities), Texas Division of Emergency Management, universities including other Texas schools of public health, key industry representatives, and professional associations.

The ideal candidate will bring substantial public health preparedness and operational experience along with the ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of constituents. Seven years of experience in development, administration, and management in a multilevel academic- or government-associated agency is desired as is experience working in or with health departments and agencies at the local, state, and/or federal level. Experience preparing for and responding to public health emergencies, and disease outbreaks is preferred. Minimum of a Master’s degree in public health or related field is required with a terminal degree in medicine or public health is preferred. Candidates should have outstanding communication skills with extensive and successful experience communicating via public media outlets in a non-partisan manner.

All nominations, inquiries and applications can be directed to Jeff Schroetlin and Phil Tang with WittKieffer at TEPHIDirector@wittkieffer.com; by phone at 630-575-6972.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.