Heather Simmons, DVM, MSVPH, serves as a project director for IIAD and associate department head and extension program leader for Veterinary Medical Extension for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
As project director, Simmons provides leadership in establishing the Institute’s overall direction, coordination, implementation, execution, control, and completion of large-scale projects to ensure consistency with Institute vision, strategy, commitments and goals. Simmons also provides senior-level leadership and daily management oversight of Institute personnel working on education and training programs. In addition, she provides direction and support to the project team, oversees coordination of personnel and resources required to complete Institute-wide projects, and creates functional strategies and specific objectives for IIAD capacity building projects.
In her previous role at IIAD, Simmons served as Education and Outreach Theme Leader, overseeing a multi-million dollar education and extension portfolio, and building a program portfolio which continues to span K-12, graduate and professional training globally. Simmons has co-developed and implemented six research and extension programs. Internationally, she has provided training to veterinarians worldwide in over 20 countries. She has also authored two textbooks, 15 online courses and 36 Extension training manuals.
Simmons is a member of the United States Animal Health Association and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. She serves on the OIE ad hoc Working Group for Veterinary Para-professionals.
Prior to her role with IIAD, Simmons served as an assistant research scientist with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Simmons holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine, a master’s degree in veterinary public health focusing on epidemiology, and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, all from Texas A&M University.