DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will join The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) as Vice President of Health Policy.

Dr. Beckham’s expertise and experience leading large organizations and projects make her uniquely qualified to offer strategic guidance on local, state and federal policy issues that impact the university, HSC President Michael Williams said. She will start Feb. 1.

“Dr. Beckham’s skillset and strategic insight into health policy will elevate the university and North Texas,” Dr. Williams said. “One of her primary focuses will be mentoring and coaching faculty, and students on how to translate science, public health and clinical exercises into policy. We are eager to welcome her aboard.”

Dr. Beckham, who has achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army, also will be appointed to the position Professor of Public Health in the HSC School of Public Health with emphasis on teaching, community outreach, and public health workforce development.

Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (credit: UNT)

“The University of North Texas Health Science Center has great potential to transform into a leader on health policy in Texas and beyond,” Dr. Beckham said. “I’m excited to join this innovative university in achieving that goal.”

Dr. Beckham recently spent nine months leading the National Testing and Diagnostics Task Force for the COVID-19 response. In this role, she served as the primary source for testing expertise to State, territorial and tribal health officials as well as the White House, Secretary of HHS, and members of Congress.

During her time as Director of the Office of Infectious Disease Policy at HHS, Beckham led the development of National strategies for vaccines, HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually transmitted Infections. She provided oversight to the Presidential Initiative to End the HIV Epidemic in America and led the development and implementation of the Ready, Set, PrEP program, an initiative designed to provide life-saving medications at no cost to qualified eligible patients throughout the U.S.

Before joining the Office of Infectious Disease, Dr. Beckham worked with the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Department of Defense at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. She also has extensive academic experience, serving from 2015 to 2017 as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and from 2008 to 2015 as both the Director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases and Chief Operating Officer of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the Texas A&M University System.

Dr. Beckham also has served as Director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine (Magna Cum Laude) and PhD in biomedical science degrees from Auburn University. She also holds a master’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati.

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