TAMEST 2022 Annual Conference speakers will share how Texas can build the vibrant, healthy communities of tomorrow and address topics like health care, housing, infrastructure and infectious disease. Learn more about the annual conference >
Nobel Laureate James P. Allison, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS)
Regental Professor and Chair
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Craig joined H-E-B in 2005 as Chief Strategic Officer and was an advisor to H-E-B for two years before joining the company.
Prior to H-E-B, Craig worked at the Monitor Company, a global consultancy based in Cambridge, MA. Craig founded and ran Monitor’s New York office.
He graduated from Harvard College, cum laude in economics, and he was a member of the Harvard crew team. He also received an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Craig is a member of the Board of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and a member of the FMI Executive Committee. He also served as the Chairman of the 2016 FMI Midwinter Executive Conference. Craig serves as the Chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; he is also on the Board of Trustees for Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Craig is also Chairman of the Board for Junior Achievement of South Texas, and a member of the Mayor’s Education and Development Workforce Leadership Team. He is a past member of the United Way Executive Committee and, served as the General Campaign Chair for the 2015 United Way Campaign.
Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer
American Triple I Partners, LLC
Mr. Cisneros’ community-building career began at the local level. After serving three terms as a City Councilmember, in 1981, Mr. Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio, Texas. During his four terms as Mayor, he helped rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements.
In 1984, Mr. Cisneros was interviewed by the Democratic Presidential nominee as a possible candidate for Vice President of the United States and in 1986 was selected as the “Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine. After completing four terms as Mayor, Mr. Cisneros formed Cisneros Asset Management Company, a fixed income management firm operating nationally and ranked at the time as the second fastest growing money manager in the nation.
In 1992, President Clinton appointed Mr. Cisneros to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros has been credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies which contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate. In his role as the President’s chief representative to the nation’s cities, Mr. Cisneros personally worked in more than 200 U.S. cities in every one of the 50 states.
After leaving HUD in 1997, Mr. Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcaster which has become the fifth-most-watched television network in the nation. Mr. Cisneros currently serves on Univision’s Board of Directors. Mr. Cisneros has served as President of the National League of Cities, as Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and as Vice-Chairman of Habitat for Humanity International. Mr. Cisneros remains active in San Antonio’s leadership where he is former Chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and BioMed SA. He is a former member of the advisory board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Cisneros has been inducted into the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) “Builders Hall of Fame”.
Mr. Cisneros has also been author or editor of several books including: Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation. His book project with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy, was presented the Common Purpose Award for demonstrating the potential of bipartisan cooperation and Casa y Comunidad: Latino Home and Neighborhood Design was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal in the category of best business book of 2006. In 2017 he co-authored Building Equitable Cities.
Mr. Cisneros holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University, where he has been designated a Distinguished Alumnus. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, was a graduate assistant in urban economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from George Washington University, and has been awarded more than 20 honorary doctorates from leading universities, Texas A&M University at San Antonio is the site of the Cisneros Center for Emerging Leaders. He served as an infantry officer in the United States Army. Mr. Cisneros is married to Mary Alice P. Cisneros, who from 2007–2011 served on San Antonio’s City Council. They have three children – Teresa, Mercedes, and John Paul – and four grandchildren.
Richard L. Corsi, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean of the College of Engineering
University of California, Davis
Dr. Corsi has been actively engaged in national discussions on layered risk reduction to reduce transmission of COVID-19 by aerosol particles, including presentations in several national webinars and over 100 print, television, radio and podcast interviews. He led an effort to develop a predictive tool for assessing parallel interventions for lowering inhalation dose of aerosols and risk of infection in buildings.
Dr. Corsi was honored as a Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal (DEAM) Recipient by the College of Engineering at UC Davis (2016) and as a Distinguished Alumnus by Humboldt State University (2006). He is immediate past President of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Dr. Corsi is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.
Sandro Galea, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Boston University School of Public Health
Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences. He is past chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards. Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM)
Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM) is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also University Professor at Baylor University, Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, Faculty Fellow with the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A&M University, and Health Policy Scholar in the Baylor Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy.
Dr. Hotez is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. As head of the Texas Children’s CVD, he leads a team and product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS/SARS-2 coronavirus, diseases affecting hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide, while championing access to vaccines globally and in the United States. In 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative, he co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for hundreds of millions of people.
He obtained his undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics from Yale University in 1980 (phi beta kappa), followed by a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Rockefeller University in 1986, and an M.D. from Weil Cornell Medical College in 1987. Dr. Hotez has authored more than 500 original papers and is the author of four single-author books, including Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases (ASM Press); Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor amid Wealth (Johns Hopkins University Press); Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism (Johns Hopkins University Press); and a forthcoming 2020 book on vaccine diplomacy in an age of war, political collapse, climate change and anti-science (Johns Hopkins University Press).
Dr. Hotez served previously as President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and he is founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (Public Health Section) and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Public Policy Section). In 2011, he was awarded the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Health by the Pan American Health Organization of the WHO. In 2014-16, he served in the Obama Administration as US Envoy, focusing on vaccine diplomacy initiatives between the US Government and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018, he was appointed by the US State Department to serve on the Board of Governors for the US Israel Binational Science Foundation and is frequently called upon frequently to testify before US Congress. He has served on infectious disease task forces for two consecutive Texas Governors. For these efforts in 2017 he was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the 34 most influential people in health care, while in 2018 he received the Sustained Leadership Award from Research!America. In 2019, he received the Ronald McDonald House Charities Award for Medical Excellence.
Most recently as both a vaccine scientist and autism parent, he has led national efforts to defend vaccines and to serve as an ardent champion of vaccines going up against a growing national “antivax” threat. In 2019, he received the Award for Leadership in Advocacy for Vaccines from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. Hotez appears frequently on television (including BBC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC), radio, and in newspaper interviews (including the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal).
Richard J. Jackson, M.D. (NAM)
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Jackson was instrumental in establishing the California Program and state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and children. While at CDC he established major environmental public health programs and instituted the federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population.
Dick Jackson lectures and speaks on many issues, particularly those related to Climate Heating, Built Environment, and Health. He co-authored the books: Urban Sprawl and Public Health, Making Healthy Places, and Designing Healthy Communities for which he hosted a four hour PBS series. He has served on many environment and health boards, as well as the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. He is an elected Honorary Fellow of American Institute of Architects and elected Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Divisional Senior Vice President
Texas Health Care Delivery
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Shara McClure knows Texas health care. A native Texan and proud Texas A&M University graduate, she leads health care delivery operations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), which offers the broadest provider network in the state covering all 254 counties. Having represented multiple health plans, physician organizations, and hospitals prior to her tenure at BCBSTX, Shara’s unwavering commitment to both improve and protect the physical and financial health of Texas has bolstered her reputation as an executive thought leader.
Thanks to her wide range of experience in the industry, Shara brings invaluable leadership and expertise to some of BCBSTX’s most important business functions, such as Provider Network Management, Performance & Programs for commercial, government and individual product lines. This includes hospital, physician and ancillary provider contracting, communications, compliance, analytical decision support and value-based care.
Shara is passionate about using her platform to inspire women and young professionals to become leaders in their organizations. She is the chairperson of the company’s business resource group Women Improving the Strength of the Enterprise (WISE) and oversees WISE’s initiatives to promote career, community, commerce, and culture across Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Texas, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Montana. She also represents the company as vice chair on the Board of Directors for TMA PracticeEdge, LLC in addition to serving on the board for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and IT’S TIME TEXAS.
Outside of the office, Shara is an active leader in the community. She serves on the board of directors for The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University, graduated from the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas program in 2017, and is a senior fellow of Houston’s American Leadership Forum. Shara recently received her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University.
Shara and her husband Craig are proud parents to Melinda and Michael, both of whom followed in their mother’s footsteps at Texas A&M. She also models the way for a healthy lifestyle by exercising five days a week and enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, and traveling.
Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D. (NAE)
National Science Board Chair
Director (retired), Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D. (NAE) was the Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018. She became the first Latina to go to space when she flew on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours. She currently serves on several boards including as Chair of the National Science Board. She previously served as chair of the Nomination Evaluation Committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board. Prior to her astronaut career, Dr. Ochoa was a research engineer and holds three patents for optical systems. She received a B.S. in Physics from San Diego State University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and the Optical Society of America (OSA). She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Sethuraman Panchanathan, Ph.D.
National Science Foundation
The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan is a computer scientist and engineer and the 15th director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Panchanathan was nominated to this position by the President of the United States in 2019 and subsequently unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 18, 2020. NSF is an $8.5B independent federal agency and the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation and STEM education.
Panchanathan is a leader in science, engineering and education with more than three decades of experience. He has a distinguished career in both higher education and government, where he has designed and built knowledge enterprises, which advance research innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, global development and economic growth.
Panchanathan previously served as the executive vice president of the Arizona State University (ASU) Knowledge Enterprise, where he was also chief research and innovation officer. He was also the founder and director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. Under his leadership, ASU increased research performance fivefold, earning recognition as the fastest growing and most innovative research university in the U.S.
Prior to joining NSF, Panchanathan served on the National Science Board as chair of the Committee on Strategy and as a member of the External Engagement and National Science and Engineering Policy committees. Additionally, he served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He was chair of the Council on Research of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and co-chair of the Extreme Innovation Taskforce of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. Arizona’s Governor appointed Panchanathan as senior advisor for science and technology in 2018. He was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and editor/associate editor of several international journals.
Panchanathan’s scientific contributions have advanced the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces, person-centered tools and ubiquitous computing technologies for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with different abilities; machine learning for multimedia applications; medical image processing; and media processor designs. He has published close to 500 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and has mentored more than 150 graduate students, postdocs, research engineers and research scientists, many now occupy leading positions in academia and industry.
For his scientific contributions, Panchanathan has received numerous awards, such as Distinguished Alumnus Awards and the Governor’s Innovator of the Year for Academia Award for his development of information technology centric assistive and rehabilitative environments to assist individuals with visual impairments.
Panchanathan is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, where he also served as vice president for strategic initiatives. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Optical Engineering.
Panchanathan is married to Sarada “Soumya” Panchanathan, an academic pediatrician and informatician, who has taught medical students, pediatric residents and informatics fellows. They have two adult children, Amritha and Roshan.
Robert Phillips, M.D.
The Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care
Robert Phillips is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Florida College of Medicine where he graduated with honors for special distinction. He trained in family medicine at the University of Missouri, followed by a fellowship in health services research and public health. Dr. Phillips was the Director of the Robert Graham Center in Washington DC from 2004-2012. In 2012, he moved to the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) as Vice President for Research and Policy and in 2018, Dr. Phillips was named the founding Executive Director of the Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care.
Dr. Phillips currently practices part-time in a community-based residency program and is a Professor of Family Medicine at Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He also has faculty appointment at George Washington University and Harvard Medical School. He previously served on the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education, as president of the National Residency Matching Program, vice chair of the US Council on Graduate Medical Education, and co-chair of Population Health on the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics. He served as a Fulbright Specialist to the Netherlands in 2012 and New Zealand in 2016. A nationally recognized leader on primary care policy and health care reform, Dr. Phillips was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2010 and currently chairs the NAM Membership Committee.
President and CEO
Margaret Spellings is the President and CEO of Texas 2036, a nonprofit organization building long-term, data-driven strategies to secure Texas’ prosperity through our state’s bicentennial and beyond. She served in the George W. Bush Administration both as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in the White House and as US Secretary of Education. She has also been the President of the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas and the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce in addition to running her own successful public policy consulting firm in Washington, DC. She most recently served as the President of the University of North Carolina System. She is a graduate and distinguished alumna of the University of Houston.