Texas Tech University

Vickie Sutton

Associate Dean for Digital Learning and Graduate Education; Paul Whitfield Horn Professor, 2010-; Robert H. Bean Professor of Law, 1999-2010

Email: vickie.sutton@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-1752

Victoria Sutton is a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy, the only center at a law school in the U.S. to focus solely on issues of law and biodefense, biosecurity and bioterrorism (www.ttu.edu/biodefense). She established the Law and Science Certificate Program with unanimous support of the faculty, and directs the JD/MS Program in Environmental Toxicology, Biotechnology and Plant and Soil Sciences.  For a video tour of a special museum exhibit of Prof. Sutton's work in biodefense law, please go here: https://youtu.be/45rcIeMXi_g

Recently, Prof Sutton was on leave from her faculty position to serve as a political appointee for Pres. George W. Bush, as the Chief Counsel for the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. from September 2005 until January 2007.

Prof. Sutton was a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University in Fall 2004.

Before joining the faculty at Texas Tech, Dr. Sutton served in the Pres. George H. W. Bush Administration as Assistant Director in the White House Science Office and in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the White House, she was responsible for coordinating science and technology research programs at the cabinet level. After her White House service, Dr. Sutton was Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Institute for Emergency Medicine where she led the development of the Institute's research initiatives.

At Texas Tech University, Dr. Sutton was awarded the university-wide President's Book Award for her groundbreaking casebook Law and Science: Cases and Materials. She was awarded the New Faculty Teaching Award in 2001, and received the Law School's Distinguished Research Faculty Award in 2002 and 2003. She chaired the University Academic Strategic Planning Task Force and the Texas Tech University System Task Force on Anti-Terrorism and Public Security.

She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian Nation and served as Secretary of the National Native American Bar Association in 2001-2002, and currently serves as a advisory council member of the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center.

Dr. Sutton has also served on Committees of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering. In 2005, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, where she received her MPA, and was nominated for the Alumni Achievement Award at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she received her PhD.

She is an appointee to the Governor Rick Perry Texas Council on Key Resources and Critical Infrastructure Council, for expertise in biodefense law.

Dr. Sutton has published numerous books, law review articles, and invited articles on law and science, environmental law, American Indian law, Constitutional law, and law and bioterrorism

Photo Description


  • B.S. in Zoology and B.S. in Animal Science cum laude from North Carolina State University
  • M.P.A., Old Dominion University
  • Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • J.D., magna cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law


  • Environmental Law
  • Law, Science Policy and Scientific Evidence
  • Native American Law; Law and Biotechnology
  • Law and Bioterrorism
  • Constitutional Law; Law, Science and Environment

Selected Books, Publications, and Symposiums


Law and Biotechnology: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2007)

Madden v. Lifecord: A Biotechnology Trial (NITA, 2005)

Law and Bioterrorism: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2003)

Law and Science: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2001)


Wind and Wisdom, 1 Houston Journal of Energy and Environment 345-371 (2007).

A Multidisciplinary Approach to an Ethic of Biodefense and Bioterrorism, 33 American Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 310-322 (Summer 2005).

Sutton and Tomich, Harnessing Wind is Not (By Nature) Environmentally Friendly, 22 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 91-121 (2005).

Environmental Law and Public Health Law --- In a Time of Plague, 30 American Journal of Law and Medicine 217-236 (2004).

Custom, Tradition and Science in the South Pacific: Fiji's New Environmental Management Act and Vanua, 9 Journal of South Pacific Law (2005) (online) http://www.paclii.org/journals/jspl/current/art5.html.

Dual Purpose Bioterrorism Investigations in Law Enforcement and Public Health Protection: How to Make Them Work Consistent with the Rule of Law, 6 Houston Journal of Health Law 165-185 (2005). http://www.law.uh.edu/hjhlp/Issues/Vol%206.1/Sutton.pdf

Wetlands -- A Goal Without A Statute, 7 S.C. Envt. L.J. 179 (1998).

A Precarious Legal "Hot Zone" -- The President's Plan to Combat Bioterrorism, 164 Mil. L. Rev. 135 (2000)

Bioterrorism Preparation and Response Legislation-the Struggle to Protect States' Sovereignty While Preserving National Security Federalism, 6 Geo. Pub. Pol. Rev. 2 (Summer 2001)

Sutton and Bromley, The Terrorist's Arsenal: Understanding Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Politic, December 2002. (available online at http://www.thepolitic.org/news/342648.html) (registration required)


Prof. Sutton hosted the 13th Annual Global Biosecurity Symposium on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in the Lanier Center at Texas Tech University School of Law.