RICHARD A. RUBENDALL, P.E.
Assistant Surgeon General
Rear Admiral, USPHS
Richard Arthur Rubendall, born in 1957 in Pierre, South Dakota, is known to his friends and colleagues as “Rich” or “Rube.” His entire professional career, from COSTEP student to Flag officer, has been as a PHS commissioned officer in service to American Indians and Alaska Natives. A life member and former President of the PHS Commissioned Officers Association, he is a highly respected professional engineer recognized for his seminal role in the motivation, education and mentoring of fellow PHS officers.
Richard Rubendall is a registered professional engineer in the States of Montana and Arizona. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1979 and has completed graduate studies in civil engineering at the University of New Mexico. On November 8, 1998, he married Susi Conley in Tucson, Arizona.
Richard Rubendall was commissioned as a Public Health Service officer in 1978 as a Junior COSTEP officer (student extern) in Sacaton, Arizona with the Indian Health Service (IHS). He served again as a Junior COSTEP in 1979 in Browning, Montana and later in that year was assigned as a senior COSTEP officer in Billings, Montana at the Indian Health service (IHS) Area office. Upon graduation from engineering school he began his full time service at Lame Deer, Montana as a field engineer in the IHS Sanitation Facilities Construction (SFC) program. In 1986 he transferred to Many Farms, Arizona in the Navajo Area of IHS as a Senior Field Engineer in the SFC program. And in 1989 he became the senior SFC field engineer at Sells, Arizona in the Tucson Area IHS. In 1990 he became the District Environmental Engineer for the Sells Field Office and in 1993 he assumed responsibilities as District Engineer officer for the Eastern District Office of the Tucson Area IHS, a post he held until 2005.
In March of 2005, Richard Rubendall was transferred to IHS headquarters and appointed Director of the Division of Commissioned Personnel Support Activities for the agency. In October of 2006 in recognition of his leadership responsibilities and professional competence, Rubendall was appointed as an Assistant Surgeon General with the equivalent rank of Rear Admiral (RADM) in the PHS Commissioned Corps, a post he still holds.
RADM Rubendall is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Water Works Association, and the Water Environment Federation.
His PHS awards include the Outstanding Service Medal, the Commendation Medal, and two Achievement Medals as well as four unit citations. These awards were conferred upon him as an individual who has demonstrated exemplary professional conduct and commitment to national service.
RADM Rubendall has served on the Board of the PHS Commissioned Officers Association from 1995 to 2005 and as its President in 1997-1998. He has also served as President of the Tucson Branch of the COA and helped establish the Big Sky Branch. He has been an active instructor in the PHS Commissioned Officers Academy and his community service includes leadership roles in his church.
5 Feb 2008