Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Engineer Professional Advisory Committee


Chief Engineer:  2005 - 2009

Richard Francis Barror, known to his friends as “Rick”, was born in Naples, Italy in 1953. Barror is a registered professional engineer in the State of California and is board certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Loyola University in 1974 and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University in 1975. In 1984 he received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in Environmental Engineering. Johns Hopkins University awarded him a Master of Public Health degree in 1994. He is also a 1998 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Program, “Leadership for a Democratic Society.” He is married to the former Susan Bradford of Rockville, Maryland.

Richard Barror was commissioned in the Public Health Service in 1975 and assigned to the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Alaska, where he was responsible for the design and construction of water and wastewater projects for Alaska Native villages. In 1981, he transferred to the IHS Area Office in Sacramento, California as a design engineer. He became the Sacramento District Engineer in 1983, responsible for staff in two field offices that provided engineering services for more than 40 tribes.

Barror transferred to IHS headquarters in Rockville in 1985 as the Deputy Chief of the IHS Sanitation Facilities Construction Program. At the time, this nationwide program managed more than 400 active construction projects. In 1993, he became the national director of that program. From 1998 through 2000, he was the Acting Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. In this position, he directed the headquarters level programs for all the IHS engineering and environmental health programs, which included the sanitation facilities construction program, and the construction, maintenance, repair and clinical engineering for 49 IHS and tribally operated hospitals and more than 2,000 staff quarters.

In 2000, he was selected as the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG). In that position, he was responsible for the day-to-day operation and supervision of the staff of the OSG. He served as a principal advisor to the Surgeon General and Deputy Surgeon General on health and PHS commissioned corps issues. He coordinated OSG activities with the Office of the Secretary, Federal agencies, Chief Professional Officers of the PHS, Department of Defense, and uniformed service organizations. He served in that post until 2003 when he became Senior Engineer Advisor in the Office of the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

In November of 2005, Barror was appointed Chief Engineer of the PHS and promoted to the position of Assistant Surgeon General with the equivalent rank of Rear Admiral (RADM) in the PHS Commissioned Corps, a post he still holds at the time of this writing. In the fall of 2005, RADM Barror also served as Executive Officer for the Secretary’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) in Louisiana for the 4 weeks immediately after Hurricane Katrina and a month later returned to serve 3 more weeks as the SERT commander.

RADM Barror is a member of several professional organizations including The American Academy of Environmental Engineers, The American Society of Civil Engineers, The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS), and The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).

His PHS awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal, three PHS Surgeon General Exemplary Service Medals, an Outstanding Service Medal, two Commendation Medals, two Achievement Medals, and two Citation Medals. He has also been recognized by the Robert Brutsche Award and the John Villforth award from the PHS Commissioned Officers Association and the Cummings Award from the Society of American Military Engineers.

RADM Barror has served on the Board of the PHS Commissioned Officers Association and as its chair in 1998-1999. He has also served on the PHS Engineer Professional Advisory Committee for seven years, the last 2 as its Chair (1991-1992). He has served as a member of a variety of engineering and uniformed service societies including service as a member of the Board of Managers of AMSUS (2003-2006) and as National Vice President of the SAME (2006-2007).

Last Update: November 2009

Page Last Modified on 12/14/2015

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