Law & Order - 2012 – Prosecutorial Misconduct: The Great Debate
Criminal justice advocate; Spent 18 years in prison, exonerated in 2010
After a wrongful conviction for a brutal crime, Anthony Graves spent 18 years incarcerated in Texas prisons — 12 of those years on death row and 16 in solitary confinement. Today, less than two years after his release, Graves is a community advocate and consultant.
William Lee Hon
Criminal District Attorney, Polk County; President, Texas District and County Attorneys Association
William Lee Hon has served as the criminal district attorney of Polk County since January 2007. Throughout his career, Hon has prosecuted thousands of felony cases over offenses like capital murder, burglary, robbery, sexual assault, drug offenses, domestic violence and crimes against children.
District Attorney, Harris County
Patricia R. Lykos became Harris County district attorney in January 2009. She is the first woman to hold the position since it was created more than 170 years ago. Lykos has launched several unique initiatives, including an elite cold case unit that has tracked down more than 100 fugitives and returned them to Harris County.
District Attorney, Dallas County
Craig Watkins was elected in 2007 to the office of Dallas County district attorney. Watkins has created and expanded a number of programs unique to Dallas County, including the Conviction Integrity Unit, the Sexual Assault Unit, the Cold Case Unit, the Gang Unit, the Impact Offender Program and partnerships with various Innocence Projects throughout the state.
Trade & Transportation - 2012 – The Future of Trade
Secretary of State
Esperanza “Hope” Andrade is Texas’ 107th secretary of state and one of six state officials who form the executive department of the state of Texas. Andrade, an entrepreneur and leader in the San Antonio business community for more than three decades, serves as Texas’ chief elections officer, chief international protocol officer and border commerce coordinator for Gov. Rick Perry.
President, Border Trade Alliance; Commissioner, Texas Commission on the Arts
Nelson Balido was named Border Trade Alliance president in 2010. Balido previously served in the private sector division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he earned the Secretary’s Award for Excellence. Balido also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, where he earned the department’s Outstanding Public Service Medal.
Director of Field Operations, Department Of Homeland Security/ U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laredo
Gene Garza is the director of field operations for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office of Laredo. Previously in his role as port director of the Laredo port of entry, Garza oversaw the largest inland port in the United States, managing more than 800 employees, four international bridges, one airport and a railroad bridge.
Esther Rodriguez Silva
Project Manager, Latin American Initiatives, Global Supply Chain Laboratory, Texas A&M University
Dr. Rodriguez Silva collaborates with the Global Supply Chain Laboratory in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University, where she conducts applied research and industry projects in the area of regional development, including the T-MEX Consortium and the Bringing Manufacturing Home initiative.
Energy & Environment - 2012 – One on One with Al Armendariz
Former regional EPA official; Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club
Dr. Alfredo “Al” Armendariz is the senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Armendariz is also the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 6, which includes Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and 66 tribal nations. At the EPA, he was closely involved in the response to the BP oil disaster and in updates to the Texas air pollution permitting system.
Race & Immigration - 2012 – How Safe is the Border
(and What Should We Do About It) ?
U.S. Representative, D-Laredo; Vice Chairman, House Steering and Policy Committee
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. Cuellar sits on the Homeland Security and Agriculture committees and serves as vice chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Cuellar previously served as a state representative for 14 years.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner
Todd Staples currently serves as the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. Currently serving in his second term, Staples was re-elected in to the post in 2010. In 1995 he was elected state representative and served three terms in the Texas House before being elected to the Texas Senate in 2000, where he served two terms.
Health & Human Services - 2012 – The Future of State Health Policy
Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Gov. Rick Perry appointed Dr. Kyle Janek of Austin to serve as executive commissioner of Texas health and human services effective Sept. 1. Janek, a physician, also represented District 17 in the Texas Senate until 2008.
Chief Deputy Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Chris Traylor is chief deputy commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Traylor most recently served as commissioner for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the agency that regulates long-term services and nursing homes, provides state services for people with disabilities and oversees state programs for aging Texans.
Public & Higher Education - 2012 – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
State Representative, R-Dallas; Chairman, House Higher Education Committee
State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has served in the Texas House since 2002. Branch is the chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, a member of the Legislative Budget Board and serves on the Calendars, Redistricting and Elections committees.
State Representative, R-Houston
State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, joined the Texas House in 2011. Previously, Huberty served for five years on the Humble Independent School District board. In his last year as a trustee, he served as the board president and as the vice president and chairman of the finance committee the year before that.
State Senator, R-Houston; Vice-Chair, Senate Education Committee
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, has represented District 7 since 2007. Patrick serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Education committee and also sits on the committees of Finance, Criminal Justice, Health & Human Services and Intergovernmental Relations.
State Senator, D-Laredo; Chairwoman, Senate Higher Education Committee
State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, has represented District 21 in the Senate since 1987. She chairs the Senate Committee on Higher Education; co-chairs the Joint Oversight Committee of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency; and sits on the subcommittees on Fiscal Matters and Higher Education Funding.