Carolee “Carrie” King has been at UTMB since 2008 and serves as senior vice president and general counsel for the university. Her expertise includes health care and regulatory law, hospital compliance, fraud and abuse, technology and commercialization, medical liability and legal issues regarding physician practice and clinical research.
In her role, she oversees Legal Affairs, Institutional Compliance, Information Security, Internal Investigations and EEOC, Technology Transfer and International Affairs. She also serves on the UTMB Executive Committee.
Prior to UTMB, she served as vice president and chief compliance officer for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she was responsible for all aspects of institutional and health care compliance. She has also served as a lawyer for the Office of General Counsel at UT System and the US Department of Health and Human Services, and has worked as in-house counsel for a physician professional liability insurance carrier.
King received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Winona State University in Minnesota and a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.
What does the Road Ahead look like for you?
I think that UTMB has been “bold” since Ike, just as Dr. Callender encouraged, in not just mapping our direction, but also in our subsequent decisions, as well. That boldness has paid off—UTMB is at an amazing juncture! As far as the Road Ahead for Legal and Regulatory Affairs, it is primarily driven by the needs and strategic goals of the institution, given that we consider the institution as our client. Thus, our direction is anything that supports UTMB in achieving success.
What are the biggest challenges you face as the university’s chief legal officer?
Probably anticipating and analyzing both apparent and hidden risks, and then staying ahead of the myriad of constantly evolving health care and regulatory statutes, laws and guidance. And of course, there is the never-ending challenge of trying to convince folks that just because attorneys appear on the scene, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing! You’d be stunned at how fast we can clear a floor when we’re seen exiting an elevator. Clearly, we still have work to do on this one!
What was your first job?
My very first job was working as summer kitchen help in an un-airconditioned kitchen of the West Texas Girl Scout camp, Camp Rio Blanco, scrubbing pots and pans all summer. (Yes, I was a long-time Girl Scout!) I quickly learned that, in addition to removing burned-on grease and grime expeditiously, EZ Off oven cleaner also removes finger nails expeditiously.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Spending time with my 11-year-old daughter, Anna Xia, who just started middle school—yikes! I also like to travel and hang out with our rescue golden retrievers, Mattie and Robbie.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I sing and I had also logged over 200 flight hours toward a private pilot license. “Taildraggers” were a lot of fun to fly!
What’s something you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
Run a marathon. I used to be an avid runner but hung up my running shoes, so to speak, after several foot surgeries and life interferences. But I still haven’t given up the idea of giving it one more try—especially after visiting my 95-year-old aunt who just did her first “marathon” being pushed in a wheelchair!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
China when my daughter is a little older—to show her the amazing country of her birth.