Health & Human Services – Family Planning: The Great Debate
Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Austin Programs
Dr. Carter is a board-certified OB/GYN who completed undergraduate studies at Southwestern University and obtained a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. She graduated from Baylor College of Medicine where she stayed to complete her OB/GYN residency training. Carter is on the executive council for the Texas Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves on the expert panel for Texas' Department of Health and Human Services' 'Healthy Texas Baby' initiative.
State Representative, D-Austin; Vice Chairwoman, House Administration Committee
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, sits on the House Higher Education Committee and the House Technology Committee and serves as vice chairwoman of the House Administration Committee. Howard has previously served as vice chairwoman of the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee.
State Representative, R-Mineola
State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, was elected to represent House District 5 in 2002 and is the vice chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He also serves on the Human Services Committee and as vice chairman of the Rural Caucus. He currently practices law in Mineola, his hometown.
Executive Director, Texas Alliance for Life
Joe Pojman is the founder and executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion organization whose goal is to protect human life by peaceful, legal means. He has served as the executive director for 17 years.
Law & Order – The Future of Juvenile Justice
Deputy Director, Texas Appleseed
Deborah Fowler serves as deputy director of Texas Appleseed, which advocates for juvenile justice reform. Fowler oversees Appleseed’s legal team, coordinating legal efforts on juvenile justice, the school-to-prison pipeline and other project areas. She is a nationally recognized expert in school discipline and juvenile justice issues and has authored three major reports on the school-to-prison pipeline in Texas.
Executive Director, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
Michael Griffiths is the newly appointed executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Previously, Griffiths spent 15 years as head of juvenile services for the Dallas County Juvenile Department.
Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Marc A. Levin is a director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Levin is an Austin attorney and author, frequently on legal and public policy issues. Levin has served as a law clerk to Judge Will Garwood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and as a staff attorney at the Texas Supreme Court.
Executive Director, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
Ana Yáñez-Correa is the executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Yáñez-Correa has been the executive director of TCJC since 2005, though she also serves as the project director for TCJC’s Solutions for Sentencing & Incarceration Project, the Tools for Re-Entry Project and the Juvenile Justice Initiative.
Energy & Environment – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
Craig L. Estes
State Senator, R-Wichita Falls; Chair, Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee
State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, was first elected to the Senate in a 2001 special election and then re-elected in 2002, 2004 and 2008. Estes is the chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee as well as vice chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance, Business and Commerce and Veterans Affairs and Military Installations committees.
State Representative, R-Eastland; Chairman, House Energy Resource Committee
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, has represented District 60 in the Legislature since 1997. Keffer previously served as Republican county chairman for Eastland County. Keffer currently serves as chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee. He also serves on the House Calendars Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, the Redistricting Committee and Texas House Republican Caucus.
State Representative, D-Austin
In his fourth term in the Texas House, state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, is a member of the Public Education Committee and the Energy Resources Committee. Strama also serves on the advisory boards of the Clean Energy Incubator and the Environmental Sciences Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
D-San Antonio; Vice Chair, Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee
State Sen. Carlos Uresti represents Senate District 19, the largest geographical senate district in the contiguous 48 states. Uresti has held his Senate seat since 2006, previously serving in the Texas House from 1997-2006. He serves as vice chair of two Senate committees — Administration and Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Additional panelist to be announced soon.
Public & Higher Education – Standardized Testing and Accountability: The Great Debate
President and CEO, Texas Association of Business & Chambers of Commerce; Former State Representative, R-Dallas
Bill Hammond is president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business & Chambers of Commerce. Before leading the association, Hammond served for three years as chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, appointed by then-Gov. George W. Bush. Hammond served four terms in the Texas House during the 1980s, where he successfully authored a Texas Education Agency sunset bill.
Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs; Director, Center for Health and Social Policy, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Carolyn J. Heinrich is the Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, an affiliated professor of Economics and the director of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Heinrich’s research focuses on education and social welfare policy, public management and performance management, and econometric methods for social program evaluation.
Chairman, Texas Workforce Commission
Tom Pauken is commissioner of the Texas Workforce Commission, where he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2008. In 2007, Pauken served as chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Appraisal Reform. He also served in the White House Counsel's Office under President Ronald Reagan and was appointed by the president to serve as director of ACTION, now known as AmeriCorps.
Commissioner of Education
Michael Williams was appointed commissioner of the state's education agency on September 1. As commissioner, Williams overees the state's 1,200 school districts and charter schools. Williams is a past commissioner and former chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, with more than 12 years of service to the state, and is the first African-American in Texas to hold an executive statewide elected post.
Additional panelist to be announced soon.
Race & Immigration – Is the President Right About the DREAM Act?
State Representative, D-San Antonio; Candidate for U.S. Congress
State Rep. Joaquin Castro represents District 125 in the Texas House, which includes the cities of San Antonio and Leon Valley in Bexar County. Castro, now a Democratic candidate for Congress, has worked in the Legislature for four terms and currently serves as vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee and as a member of the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.
Ana Hernandez Luna
State Representative, D-Houston; Vice-Chair, House Elections Committee
State Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna, D-Houston, was elected in 2005 to represent District 143 in the Texas House. She serves as vice chairwoman of the House Elections Committee and sits on the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee.
State Representative Raul Torres is a member of the House Committee on Insurance and the House Appropriations Committee. Torres grew up in Nueces County where he attended Ray High School and later Del Mar College. He received his MBA from Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 1994, and is a CPA and small business owner. He previously served on the Loan Review Board and the Traffic Advisory Board for the City of Corpus Christi.
Former Vice President for Communications at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
Joshua S. Treviño is the former vice president for communications at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Previously, Treviño was the founder and president of Treviño Strategies and Media. His experience includes work in more than thirty countries, speechwriting in the George W. Bush administration and service in the U.S. Army.