Dr. Thomas Samuel “Sam” Shomaker Named Sixth Dean of University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine

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Dr. Thomas Samuel “Sam” Shomaker will be the next dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) after his nomination was approved today (May 16) by the UH Board of Regents (BOR). Shomaker is scheduled to begin on July 1 and was nominated by UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno after a comprehensive nationwide search. 

“Dr. Shomaker has extensive leadership experience and served in senior leadership positions within higher education and medical schools, including his time at JABSOM,” said Bruno. “He has an understanding of the needs of JABSOM, our community and health partners, Hawaiʻi and beyond."

Shomaker is a 1986 JABSOM graduate and previously served as vice dean of the medical school from 2000-2005 and interim dean from 2005-2006. He returns to JABSOM after serving as dean of the Austin campus for the University of Texas Medical Branch and the dean and vice president at Texas A&M Health Science Center.

“Mahalo to the search advisory committee and Provost Bruno for affording me this opportunity,” said Shomaker. “It is the highest professional honor of my career to be named the dean of my alma mater. My senior quote upon graduation was, ‘thank you for the opportunity to serve the people of the state of Hawaiʻi.’ Now I get to realize that dream.” 

At the public presentation Shomaker delivered at JABSOM as one of the finalists for the position, he outlined his goals for JABSOM: become the leading medical school in the Asia-Pacific region and the leading Indigenous-serving medical school in the world and leverage JABSOM’s unique location to develop research, business and health care connections with Asia and the Continental U.S. 

“I am excited by the great potential of JABSOM, both in training the next generation of physicians for Hawaiʻi and in contributing to the diversification of our economy through our research program,” said Shomaker. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students of our school and our important clinical partners to make JABSOM all it can be for our state and its people.” 

Shomaker has 20 years of experience in health care, an MD degree, a law degree, and a master’s degree in management to improve health care. His educational journey includes earning his MD from UH Mānoa, a JD from Georgetown University School of Law, a master’s degree in management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University.