Vickie Sutton

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Vickie Verbyla
  • Master's degree in Public Administration
  • Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences
  • J.D. degree
Alma mater
  • Old Dominion University
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • American University
  • Item one
  • item two
  • item three
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TitleLaw professor

Vickie Sutton (b. 1954) (née Vickie Verbyla) is a Lumbee Law professor currently on the faculty of Texas Tech University.[1] Since 2014, Sutton has been on the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.[2][3]


Sutton grew up in Lenoir, North Carolina and she is a member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe in North Carolina. She was Miss North Carolina USA in 1977 (under the pseudonym Vikki Verbyla).[4]

She received her Master's degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas while working as a Legal Assistant in Dallas, Texas.

After her Ph.D. she worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) headquarters in Washington D.C. as Special Assistant to J. Clarence Davies, the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning and Evaluation. Climate change was the environmental issue rising to the top of the White House's agenda at the time, which led to Sutton taking a position at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as the U.S. EPA Liaison. She eventually left EPA to work for OSTP on the climate change framework convention meetings led by OSTP and the State Department as Senior Policy Analyst.

She rose to be Assistant Director of FCCSET, which is now called the National Science and Technology Council, coordinating more than 2,000 federal scientists in research programs focusing on climate change, high performance computing and communications, biotechnology and advanced materials (later nanotechnology).[5] She oversaw the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, organizing monthly meetings with the President of the United States.[6]

Sutton pursued a J.D. degree at American University, Washington College of Law, magna cum laude in 1999. During her time in law school, she interned in the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources, Indian Resources Section[7] in 1996 and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, for Judge Plager.

Vickie Sutton started her tenure-track career in fall 1999 at Texas Tech University School of Law.

Sutton was the first woman to run for U.S. Congress in the 2003 Texas's 19th Congressional District special election.

In 2004, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Public Health.[8] In 2005, became the co-PI with the Centers of Excellence for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases. At that time, she established the first journal of law in the field of Law, Policy and Biodefence.[9]

In 2005, Sutton became a founding member of the National Congress of American Indians, Policy Advisory Board to the NCAI Policy Center, positioning the Native American community to act and lead on policy issues affecting Indigenous communities in the United States.[10]

In 2005, Vickie Sutton served as the first Chief Counsel (2005-2007) for the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of U.S. Department of Transportation. She served as the Co-Chair for the U.S. DOT Climate Change Council and as the U.S. DOT representative to the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.

In 2007, Sutton returned to her academic position at Texas Tech University and in 2013, she served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development.

Academic work

Bioterrorism and law

Sutton was one of only a few law scholars in the U.S. working on biosecurity and bioterrorism and law when the anthrax attacks of 2001 occured. She developed expertise in the regulation of scientists in biosecurity and biosafety, and the area of federalism in managing public health emergencies between state and federal governments. In 2002, she published "Law and Bioterrorism" with Carolina Academic Press.[11]

In 2007, Vickie Sutton developed a casebook, "Law and Biotechnology".[12]

In 2011, she published her book on "Nanotechnology Law and Policy", noted as the most popular casebook in this field for law schools.[13]

"Introduction to Emerging Technologies Law" was published in 2015.[14]

Environmental law

Vickie Sutton was part of a NOAA grant through the Texas Sea Grant program where she crafted ordinances to respond to aesthetic opinions about wind energy on the coast, which became a model for ordinances for local governments along the Texas Gulf Coast.


Sutton was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of Old Dominion University in 2005 for her service in government.[15]

Vickie Sutton was awarded the Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member of Texas Tech University, for international and national recognition of her scholarly work.[16]

In 2010, President Obama cited her research in a Press Release of an Executive Order to review a regulatory program that has an effect on policymaking.[17][18]


  1. "Vickie Sutton | Faculty Directory | School of Law | TTU". Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  2. "Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response". Texas Department of State, Health Services.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. McNeill, Pat (October 7, 2014). "Texas Tech Law School Dean Named to Governor Perry's Task Force on Infectious Disease". News Talk, KFYO.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Miss North Carolina USA Hall of Fame". Miss North Carolina USA.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. FCCSET Committee on Education and Human Resources (1992). Report of the FCCSET Committee on Education and Human Resources. {{cite book}}: External link in |location= (help)CS1 maint: location (link) CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. Bromley, D. Allan (1994). The President's Scientists: Reminiscences of a White House Science Advisor. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300060068.
  7. "Indian Resources Section (IRS)". The United States Department of Justice.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Yale Law School 2004-2005" (PDF). Yale Law School 2004-2005, Bulletin of Yale University, Series 100, Number 8, August 10, 2004.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Sutton, Victoria (27 Jan 2011). "Introduction: The Launch of the Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety & Biodefense Law". Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety & Biodefense Law. 1. doi:10.2202/2154-3186.1008.
  10. "NCAI Policy Research Center, Advisory Council".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Sutton, Victoria. (2003). Law and bioterrorism. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 0-89089-071-4. OCLC 51524901.
  12. Sutton, Victoria. (2007). Law and biotechnology : cases and materials. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-89089-191-9. OCLC 61152132.
  13. Sutton, Victoria. (2011). Nanotechnology law and policy : cases and materials. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-59460-751-6. OCLC 503447505.
  14. Emerging technologies law. Sutton, Victoria. Lubbock, TX. ISBN 978-0-9914207-9-7. OCLC 922720672.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. "Distinguished Alumni of MPA Program Honored" (PDF). USPA Newsletter, Old Dominion University.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. Clark, James. "Tech bestows highest honor on three professors". KCBD News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. Emanuel, Peter. "Presidential Order Balances Security and Scientific Enterprise". The White House, President Barack Obama, Blog.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Executive Order, July 2, 2010, Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States" (PDF). Obama White House.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

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