WASHINGTON () — The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is pleased to announce that Walter Harris, M.B. A., P.M.P., is joining the school's senior leadership team and will serve as the senior associate dean for administration and operations — a newly created position within the Office of the Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean. Harris joins GW SMHS from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he served as the deputy commissioner for operations and chief operating officer, providing strategic and innovative operational services to the Agency's more than 16,000 staff, overseeing a budget of over $4 billion along with a $450 million IT portfolio.
"Given his broad expertise and leadership skills, I am thrilled that Walter is joining the SMHS senior leadership team," said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., vice president for health affairs at GW, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, and dean of the GW SMHS. "With his proven track record of success, Walter has the experience in public health, health care, and organizational development to enhance SMHS operations and ensure that we are prepared to support the institution as we strive to meet our strategic priorities and long term goals."
In this role, Harris will work with the GW and GW SMHS leadership to develop and implement a fully integrated business and management program that balances strategic and operational initiatives. He will be responsible for SMHS operations and administration, including communications, financial planning and accounting, strategic planning, human resources, information technology, facilities, and safety and security.
Harris brings more than 20 years of executive experience from the private sector and in the federal government to SMHS having served in senior executive-level positions at the FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Sodexho Marriott/HCA and Community Health Systems.
As a top official, Harris has also garnered multiple awards and honors including the Executive Leadership in Government Award from the Association For Federal Information Resource Management (AFFIRM), Top Blacks in Healthcare Award from BlackDoctors.org, Top Executive Leader Award from Maryland India Business Roundtable Inc., the CDC Directors Award, the Health Commendation Award from the Under Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Special Contribution Award from the Veterans Health Administration.
Harris served as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force and was selected to serve as a Pentagon liaison to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. He was also recalled to serve during Operation Desert Storm.
"Coming to GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences is a wonderful next step in my career. I am pleased to be joining a dynamic team," said Harris.
Harris will join the GW SMHS leadership team in August 2016.