Cole, associate commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, is
serving as interim commissioner of the agency following the departure of Dr.
David Lakey, who announced his resignation in early January.
has been with the agency for 10 years in various leadership roles, primarily
focused on consumer and governmental relations and public health policy. As
associate commissioner, he was second in command and played a key role in advising the commissioner and state
leadership on public health and agency management issues. He worked to make sure that agency programs were responsive to the needs of the people
of Texas and in line with the goals and priorities of the state.
Before coming to
DSHS in 2004, Cole worked for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in
communications and government relations and for Texas A&M University as an
assistant administrator for student health services.
received a bachelor’s degree in health and a master’s degree in urban planning
from Texas A&M University.
The Department of State Health Services is one of the state’s largest
agencies with a staff of 12,000 and an annual budget of $3.2 billion. The
agency oversees programs such as disease prevention and bioterrorism
preparedness, family and community health services, environmental and consumer
safety, regulatory programs and mental health and substance abuse prevention
and treatment programs.
(Biography – printable pdf)