Gov. Rick Perry announced at a press conference in Austin Monday morning that Texas A&M Health Science Center CEO Brett Giroir will head the new Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease and Preparedness and Response.
Perry created the task force in an executive order charged with stopping the spread of infectious diseases, including the Ebola virus.
The team composed of 13 physicians and academics from across the state including three Texas A&M HSC faculty. Public Health Preparedness and Response Vice President Gerald Parker, who will serve as deputy director of the task force, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory Director Dr. Tammy Beckham and professor of epidemiology Dr. Scott Lillibridge will work with Giroir to develop a long-term plan to respond to potential pandemic disease outbreaks.
“Preparedness requires clear, decisive, and prospective management aimed not only at rapid response, but also long-term solutions,” Giroir said. “The time lines for containment of a serious outbreak mandate that we are fully prepared for the worst-case scenario, no matter what form that may take.”
Before assuming leadership of the Texas A&M HSC in October 2013, Giroir served as deputy director and then deputy director of the Federal Government’s Defense Sciences Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 2004-2008.