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Health science center president names Diaz vice president for governmental relations

Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, today named Armando Diaz as the center's vice president for governmental relations. Diaz, currently vice chancellor for community relations for The University of Texas System, begins his new duties in San Antonio June 17.

"Armando's experience as an executive officer of the U. T. System and his background and work with the Texas Legislature make him an ideal choice for this position," Dr. Cigarroa said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us in Austin and in Washington, D.C. and I know that Armando will bring great leadership to our efforts in communicating the needs, goals and accomplishments of the Health Science Center to the state and to Congress."

As vice president for governmental relations, he will be responsible for communications and interactions on behalf of the Health Science Center with elected officials, agencies and their staffs.

"Although I am leaving the U. T. System Administration, I am still part of the U. T. System family," Diaz said. "This is a wonderful career opportunity for me and I am honored that Dr. Cigarroa has asked me to join his executive administration team in this important capacity. I'm looking forward to joining his administration and support his efforts in attaining the vision of taking the Health Science Center to the top tier of academic health centers in the country."

Diaz joined the U.T. System as a special assistant for governmental relations in 1991. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations and in 1999 was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for governmental and community relations. In December 2000, he was promoted to vice chancellor for community relations. As vice chancellor, Diaz directed the U. T. System's community relations initiative, working with the 15 component institutions, and serving as the principal liaison to the various statewide community-based organizations and professional associations operating in Texas to further the mission of the U. T. System. These efforts have resulted in various on-going collaboration programs benefiting small businessmen and women in the U. T. System construction program and adult and youth educational leadership scholarship programs. His most recent work at the U. T. System has been as a liaison in developing international programs between the System and various higher education institutions in Mexico including student and faculty exchange programs, research, telemedicine, and distance education.

"Armando has been a vital part of our efforts to increase participation of historically under utilized businesses in many of our construction efforts across the U. T. System," according to Chancellor R. D. Burck. "He has also played a key role in our efforts to establish relationships and programs for the youth of our state through leadership and training workshops, mentoring programs, and scholarships to enhance access and opportunity in higher education."

No replacement has been named to succeed Diaz, according to Chancellor Burck.

Before his work at the U.T. System, Diaz was chief of staff to State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and former State Sen. Hector Uribe. Since 1974, he has served in a variety of technical and management positions in the executive branch of both state and local government, including community-based organizations.

Diaz is a 1971 graduate of Pan American College (now U.T. Pan American). He earned a master's degree in administration and supervision from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1972. A native of Santa Maria, Texas, Diaz graduated from La Feria High School. He and his wife, Elia, live in Austin and plan to relocate to San Antonio.

With 15 campuses and more than 160,000 students, the U.T. System is the state's largest system of universities. The Health Science Center in San Antonio is one of six health institutions of the U. T. System. The center serves San Antonio and the 50,000 square-mile area of South Texas. It extends to campuses currently under construction in the metropolitan border communities of Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. More than 3,000 students a year train at the Center and its more than 100 affiliated hospitals, clinics and health care facilities in South Texas.

Contact: Monty Jones, (512) 499-4363