Francisco G. Cigarroa serves as chair of the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. A nationally renowned transplant surgeon, he is head of pediatric transplant surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is also co-director of a liver cancer study funded by the Clayton Foundation for Research. Previously, Cigarroa was chancellor of the University of Texas System, consisting of nine universities and six health institutions. When he assumed that position in 2009, he became the first Hispanic person to lead a major university system in the United States. Prior to that, he served for eight years as president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Cigarroa to serve as a commissioner for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. In 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science, as one of 12 of the nation’s most prominent leaders in the fields of research, science, and engineering.
Cigarroa has served on the National Research Council Committee on Research Universities and on the American Academy Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is a trustee of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy, and the Alamo Endowment Board of the Texas General Land Office. He is also a member of the American College of Surgery, the Institute of Medicine, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is an honorary member of the National Academy of Science in Mexico. In 2011, Cigarroa was awarded the Massachusetts General Hospital Trustees’ Medal in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the practice of medicine and patient care.
A third-generation physician, Cigarroa earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. During his postgraduate training, he was chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and completed pediatric surgery and transplant surgery fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital.