After serving as manager of community health programs at the North Dakota Department of Health in the late-1980s, Eric was named executive director of DOC in 1990. In this role, he investigated and uncovered controversial alliances that cigarette manufacturers developed with health, medical, and pharmaceutical companies and organizations. Over the past three decades, he has co-authored numerous papers and textbook chapters with Dr. Alan Blum and others on these alliances, provided more than 350 lectures world-wide, has served as an expert witness and consultant in tobacco litigation and public policy development, and has advised several public and private health foundations. From 1991-1994 he was an assistant editor for Tobacco Control – An International Journal. In the aftermath of tobacco litigation settlements, which generated billions of dollars for states and municipalities across the United States, he served as a consultant to foster the engagement of all health professionals in developing innovative programs.
Previously, Eric held leadership positions at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He served as administrator for the division of clinical cancer genetics and then as administrative director for MD Anderson’s National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant, which provides the institution’s NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center status.
His most recent efforts over the past decade have focused on the ethical dimensions of public health related to tobacco control within the context of health behavior, “personalized” health management and risk in public health in a way that considers expanding these discussions to support the notion of accountability as an important principle. By doing so, he has challenged the conventional thinking of public health authorities and institutions to engage in an honest self-evaluation in the development of realistic objectives, priorities and accountability in the “tobacco control” establishment.