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Executive Leadership

Karen Spillar, JD

Karen Spillar, JD

Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management and Chief Compliance Officer, UTHealth Houston


As chief compliance officer, she oversees the Office of Institutional Compliance at UTHealth Houston, whose purpose is to proactively promote compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, foster ethical conduct, and compliance training.

With a diverse background in law and extensive experience in compliance, conflict of interest, and planning, Spillar joined UTHealth Houston in 2005 as director of institutional compliance, and has also served as associate vice president for planning, working in the Office of the President. She has developed and facilitated high-priority projects and initiatives across the university, including Title IX policy and investigations, conflict of interest reviews and management plans, billing compliance initiatives, and faculty and student affairs issues, particularly those that cross multiple schools and departments.

Prior to working for the university, Spillar served for six years as in-house legal counsel for a group of nine Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authorities throughout East Texas. In this capacity, she provided assistance in the development of their compliance programs, coordinated procurement activities and contracting processes, and provided legal counsel to executive leadership and operational programs.

Spillar received a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Texas.

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