Daniel Salazar

Hometown: Amarillo, Texas

Degree: BBA Accounting-University of Texas at Arlington (1993)
Current Academic Pursuit: Masters in Public Affairs
Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Why did you decide on a degree in Public Affairs?

I have been serving the citizens of Dallas as a firefighter/paramedic of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department since 1995. As an Assistant Fire Chief, I recognize that my professional roles and responsibilities encourage me to continue learning about public administration and policy because it directly impacts on my day-to-day work. The academic rigor of the MPA program at UT Dallas has allowed me to gain knowledge that can be directly applied to my profession and has helped me achieve a better understanding of how complex public organizations function.

What do you like about your Program at UT Dallas?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the teaching faculty which includes Professors with a diverse and rich background of experiences outside of academia. These instructors have enriched their teaching by linking academic concepts to their own personal experiences during their time in the public sector when they assisted government leaders with problem solving. The faculty has also heightened my awareness of the interconnectedness of the public sector with the world at large and shown me how public sector decision making directly impacts the lives and needs of many constituents who would otherwise go unserved. As an MPA student, I have developed a great appreciation for the work that different public sector officials do. I am a strong advocate of the MPA program at UT Dallas and have convinced a few coworkers to pursue the same degree program.

Plans for the Future

I plan to continue making a difference in my organization by using with knowledge and skills obtained during my academic work at UTD. In the long-term, I would like to become a fire chief of a large or medium-sized urban fire department where I would do my best to make the lives of firefighters and citizens safer through positive and collaborate leadership coupled with sound decisions.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

Strive to achieve and learn not only from UT Dallas Professors but also through engagement with classmates who come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. The student and faculty population is very diverse at UTD and this definitely contributes to a very enriching learning environment.


Running, cycling, reading, travel and watching sports on television. I also enjoy time with a couple of fun loving dogs when I’m not keeping up with my two sons.