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About the Dean

Shawn G. Gibbs, PhD, MBA, CIH joined Texas A&M University on May 1, 2020, as Dean of the School of Public Health. Dr. Gibbs is an industrial hygienist whose expertise is in the disruption of highly infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease. He is dedicated to public service and improving health and well-being nationally, including in the state of Texas.

He has over a hundred peer reviewed articles in industrial hygiene and environmental exposure assessment, focusing on environmental microbiology and disrupting transmission of highly infectious diseases. His research has helped to determine national policies, procedures, and best practices for responders and healthcare workers to safely treat patients with Ebola virus disease, COVID-19, and other highly infectious diseases. Dr. Gibbs is sought after to lend guidance to national and international organizations, such as his appointment to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Board of Scientific Counselors-Homeland Security Subcommittee as well as work with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command.

Dr. Gibbs’ research and teaching have been recognized with several awards, including 2018 American Industrial Hygiene Association’s Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award, 2017 Biomedical Research Exemplar Award, 2015 Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska for service to the State, and 2006-2007 U.S. Fulbright Faculty Scholar to Egypt. He has subsequently lead three (Libya in 2013, Egypt in 2016 and 2017) Institutional Fulbright Faculty Scholars training programs for Public Health Curriculum Development.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology at The Ohio State University. While working as a contractor for the USEPA, he attended the University of Cincinnati (UC) where he was awarded a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, and then a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science. While serving as Associate Dean at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) he completed his MBA in Agribusiness from the University of Nebraska.

His first tenure track position was with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston at their El Paso regional campus, where he served as co-director of two Cores of the Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center. He then went to the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he served as Director of Masters Programs and then Associate Dean of Student Affairs. There he worked with the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) as Director of Research. As one of only three such facilities in the country at the time, the NBU became critical to the fight against Ebola. Their team designed quarantine, isolation, personal protective equipment (PPE), other policies and procedures, and provided international training and evaluation to first responders, including the military, and others who have direct or indirect patient contact. Additionally, they perform decontamination research to assist with shortages in PPE. These procedures again became critical to the response of COVID-19. UNMC was a founding organization of the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center, formerly the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC), and Dr. Gibbs maintains affiliations with both NETEC and NBU. Dr. Gibbs then went to Indiana University to serve as Executive Associate Dean of the School of Public Health.

While at Indiana University, he also held several interim roles, including Associate Dean for Research. He developed a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) training grant that resulted into the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative, a partnership with several nationally recognized organizations, including the University of Texas Health School of Public Health, to deliver national trainings on infectious disease. This merged into a continuing partnership with the UTHealth led Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (P2R) Consortium a NIEHS funded Worker Training Program, a relationship that has continued through his return to Texas.

As Dean of the School of Public Health, Dr. Gibbs assumed leadership of a School committed to transforming health through interdisciplinary inquiry, innovative solutions and development of leaders through the Aggie tradition of service to engage diverse communities worldwide. He joins the SPH at a time where the importance of public health is at the forefront as Texas, national, and the global communities battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The SPH faculty, students, and staff are united and mobilized to work with partners across Texas A&M and the Health Science Center to address these needs by applying practical solutions based in public health science.