Leader in public health joins CSU to advance Courageous Strategic Transformation

Sam Halabi will be joining the leadership team in the Colorado State University Office of the Vice President for Research in a new role as senior associate vice president for health policy and ethics. A distinguished legal scholar with deep experience in health law and policy, international relations and intellectual property, Halabi will begin his work in the OVPR in May. He will also join the faculty at the Colorado School of Public Health.

“As we come out of the pandemic, we have gained a new appreciation for the need to rebuild our public health infrastructure,” Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph said in announcing the appointment. “Sam’s experience and leadership brings important new dimensions to our role in that exciting challenge. Coupled with the work our office led just prior to the pandemic with the Public Health Research Task Force, and the campus focus on health in the courageous strategic transformation, Sam joins our office at a great time to facilitate further dialogue and programs in public health across campus.”

Halabi is currently the Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he also directs the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.  He completed a one-semester visiting professor role at the University of Iowa College of Law in Fall 2020, spent 2017-2018 as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, and is a senior scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. As part of the pandemic response, Halabi advises a number of international organizations facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.

Sam Halabi portrait
Sam Halabi

Prior to joining the faculty at Missouri, Halabi spent six years as a member of the law faculty at the University of Tulsa, where he held progressive leadership roles, culminating in his service as associate dean for faculty development. He is an honors graduate of Kansas State University with a B.A. in political science and B.S. in physical sciences. Halabi earned his M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University as a British Marshall Scholar and his J.D. from Harvard University.

Advising on strategic initiatives

In his new role at CSU, Halabi will oversee key research activities in support of the OVPR.  He will also advise the School of Public Health and the One Health Institute as well as other strategic initiatives in health, driving strategic public health initiatives with implications for research and innovation opportunities, legislative health affairs, global health and food security, and global health policy and ethics.

“Colorado State is at the forefront of animal health, ecological and biomedical research that will lead to critical interventions when the next pandemic occurs. Meanwhile, its public health research at the animal-human health interface will be essential to preventing pandemics from developing in the first place,” Halabi said. “I’m excited to join the Office of the Vice President for Research team to do this important work.”

Rudolph notes that Halabi’s role in his office is part of CSU’s strategic focus to advance CSU’s research goals in health broadly — the University topped $400 million in research funding for the first time in Fiscal Year 2020 and has increased activities and impacts in translational medicine.

As a member of President Joyce McConnell’s leadership team, Rudolph has been part of the development of the draft framework for the strategic transformation that is currently being shared widely across campus for feedback from students, faculty and staff, including members of the research community.

Research is a fundamental part of the University’s identity, current success, and future, as the COVID pandemic has clearly demonstrated. CSU was recognized as a top ten school for students interested in getting involved with COVID research.  There has also been a significant increase in COVID-related proposals and awards, with a total of $119.3 million in COVID-related proposals submitted and $21.5 million in COVID-related award obligations received to date. While COVID surged in 2020, the enterprise continued to make impacts across numerous areas, reaching record outputs for its initiatives.

With Halabi’s new role beginning soon and other strong additions to the leadership team on their way, Rudolph is confident that the OVPR will be positioned to not just engage the courageous strategic transformation but exemplify it.

“As we recently demonstrated with our actions in the pandemic and climate crisis that have affected so many lives, CSU discoveries and innovations are poised to rise to the challenge of our times,” Rudolph said. “Our opportunity to make a difference from our backyards to our neighbors on the other side of the planet is only limited in scope by our ability to come together to pursue our passions together. The courageous strategic transformation process is an opportunity to do that. These are exciting times for research scholars and lifelong learners at CSU.”