UCSF Names Brian Smith as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

By Nina Bai

Brian Smith headshot
Brian Smith, JD, MBA. Photo by Barbara Ries

UC San Francisco has named Brian Smith, JD, MBA, as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO) – a role he has held in an interim capacity since November 2017.

Smith’s appointment, which is retroactive to Oct. 1, will be served concurrently with his other new appointment as senior associate vice chancellor of research.

In the CECO role, Smith will report directly to Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, and will also report secondarily to Alexander Bustamante, senior vice president and chief compliance and audit officer at University of California’s Office of the President. In the senior associate vice chancellor role, he will report to Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, vice chancellor of research.

As CECO, Smith will continue to oversee a wide range of ethics and compliance-related matters for the UCSF Office of Ethics and Compliance, whose functions include UCSF Health compliance, privacy, research integrity, investigations, export control, FDA regulatory matters, financial conflicts of interest, and whistleblower retaliation complaints. The role is responsible for ensuring that managers in all functional areas are accountable for maintaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations. He also represents the Office of Ethics and Compliance at campuswide and select UC systemwide committees, councils and boards.

“Brian’s interim leadership and extensive experience make him ideal for this critically important UCSF position,” said Hawgood. “I am very glad that he has accepted the CECO job, and I look forward to him remaining as a member of the UCSF leadership team.”

The continued tremendous growth of UCSF and UCSF Health has meant increasingly complex operations and compliance considerations, said Smith. In his institution-wide role, he aims to ensure that everyone is equipped with the necessary tools and guidance to make the right decisions.

“Successful UCSF compliance programs are a team effort that relies on the actions of every individual at UCSF,” he said. “Our office will put an emphasis on serving as a resource for people to ensure that we are appropriately coordinating and guiding compliance efforts across the enterprise.”

He said that UCSF’s role as an anchor institution in the Bay Area, including as the second largest employer in San Francisco, means we have a responsibility to positively impact our communities by leveraging our world-class research, patient care, and education resources.

Smith’s experience in ethics and compliance began at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was an attorney in the administrative law unit. After six years at the FBI, he shifted to administrative leadership at the University of Oregon, his alma mater, where he was assistant director of technology transfer, negotiating intellectual property contracts, and later assistant vice president for administration and chief of staff. He then served as assistant vice chancellor of health sciences affairs and chief operating officer at UC San Diego with responsibilities encompassing health sciences education, research, and general administration.

Smith joined UCSF in 2014 as associate vice chancellor of research infrastructure and operations in which he was responsible for day-to-day operations, management, and oversight of many components of the research support functions, including research management services, government and business contracts, environment, health and safety, and laboratory animal research.

In his new concurrent role as senior associate vice chancellor of research, he is part of the Office of Research leadership team and will continue to have direct responsibility for the Office of Environment, Health and Safety, the Human Research Protection Program, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program, and the Laboratory Animal Resource Center.

Smith grew up in Corvallis, Ore., and studied political science at the University of Oregon. He later received an MBA and JD from Willamette University.

The throughline of his career has been public service, said Smith.  He relishes work that allows him to support the greater good and is inspired by the mission of UCSF to improve people’s lives around the world.

“We have a culture of integrity and attention to the UCSF PRIDE Values. It’s an important consideration in how we think about others and the decisions we make as an institution,” he said.

The best day at some organizations may be maintaining the status quo, he said, but “the best day at a leading health sciences university like UCSF is saving lives, enabling people here and in other countries to improve their lives, and making the world a better place.”