Health & Human Services – The Affordable Care Act is Constitutional. What now?
Associate Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities
Anne Dunkelberg is the associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, where she focuses on policy and budget issues related to health care access, as well as general issues related to immigrants’ access to public benefits. Previously at the State Medicaid Director’s Office at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Dunkelberg joined the center in 1994.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Hospital Association
Dan Stultz is the president and chief executive officer of the Texas Hospital Association, an Austin-based trade association representing more than 85 percent of the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Stultz is a member of the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board 7 and of the State Hospital Association Executives Forum.
Former Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Thomas Suehs retired in August as executive commissioner of Texas health and human services, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009. The commissioner oversees the operations of the five health and human services agencies, including more than 57,000 employees and combined annual budgets of $30 billion.
Executive Director, Center for Health Care Policy, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Former State Representative, R-Burleson
Arlene Wohlgemuth is the executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Health Care Policy. Wohlgemuth served for 10 years in the Texas House, where she authored HB 2292, a sweeping reform of the state's health and human services agency and the largest government reform bill ever passed in the state.
Law & Order – The Fight Over Forensic Science
State Representative, D-Dallas; Vice Chairman, House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee
State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has served four terms representing House District 103. Before entering the House, Anchia served two terms on the Dallas school board. In his first session in the Legislature, Texas Monthly named him Rookie of the Year and in the 80th session named him one of the state's 10 best legislators.
Founder and Chief Counsel, Innocence Project of Texas
Jeff Blackburn is the founder of and chief counsel to the Innocence Project of Texas. The State Bar of Texas named him criminal defense lawyer of the year for 2002-03. Since 2009 Mr. Blackburn has served as chairman of the Legal Services to the Poor in Criminal Matters Committee of the State Bar of Texas.
Director of Governmental Relations, Texas District and County Attorneys Association
Shannon Edmonds is the director of governmental relations for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, the largest statewide association of prosecutors in the nation. Edmonds serves as a liaison between prosecutors and the Legislature on criminal justice, juvenile justice and government representation issues.
Commissioner, Texas Forensic Science Commission; Chief Medical Examiner, Tarrant County
Dr. Nizam Peerwani is the chief medical examiner in Tarrant, Parker, Denton and Johnson counties and an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Peerwani was appointed to the Texas Forensic Science Commission by Gov. Rick Perry in September 2009 and re-appointed in October 2011.
Energy & Environment – Can We Solve Our Electricity Problem?
David A. Campbell
David A. Campbell is the CEO of Luminant, a power generation subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. Campbell previously served as Energy Future Holdings' CFO. In that role, he and his team were responsible for the company’s overall financial strategy, corporate planning, enterprise risk management, treasury, tax, accounting and investor relations.
Chairwoman, Public Utility Commission
Donna L. Nelson was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Public Utility Commission in 2008. Nelson previously served as a special assistant and adviser to Gov. Rick Perry on energy, telecommunications and cable budget and policy issues. She has also served as director of the commission's telecommunications section and legal adviser to the commission's chairman.
Associate Director, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin
Michael Webber is the associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Former Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former Chairman, Public Utility Commission of Texas
Pat Wood III is an energy infrastructure developer and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Wood also serves as a strategic adviser to Natural Gas Partners, a private equity firm, and is an independent director of the infrastructure companies SunPower, Quanta Services and Xtreme Power Solutions.
Public & Higher Education – The Future of School Finance
Executive Director, Texas Charter Schools Association
David Dunn is the executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association. Dunn most recently served as chief of staff to the U.S. secretary of education. Dunn's experience includes service as special assistant to the president for domestic policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council, the associate executive director and chief lobbyist of the Texas Association of School Boards and 15 years in education and fiscal policy analysis for the state of Texas.
Former State Representative, R-Arlington; Former Chairman, House Public Education Committee
Kent Grusendorf represented Arlington for 20 years, from 1987 to 2007, in the Texas Legislature, where he focused on education reform. During his last two terms in the Legislature, he served as chairman of the House Public Education Committee. Today he is executive director of Texans for Real Efficiency and Equity in Education.
Regional Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
David G. Hinojosa is the Southwest regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s premier Latino civil rights law firm. Since joining MALDEF in 2003, Hinojosa has become a leading civil rights litigator and advocate, with a focus on educational civil rights litigation on behalf of Latinos.
Partner, Thompson & Horton
David Thompson represents public school districts, junior colleges and other educational entities in the Gulf Coast area and across Texas. Thompson serves as legislative counsel for the Texas Association of School Administrators, the Fast Growth School Coalition, the Houston Independent School District, other school districts and education organizations, and has been actively involved in most legislative activities affecting public education in the past 20 years.
Race & Immigration – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
State Representative, R-Round Rock
Larry Gonzales is a Republican member of the Texas House from Round Rock. Gonzales most recently served as assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations for the Texas State University System, working as a liaison to the Legislature and other state agencies for the system and its eight component institutions.
State Representative, R-Tomball
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, was first elected to represent HD-150 in 2002. Riddle has served as the Harris County Republican Party’s Finance Committee vice chairwoman and as the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s chairwoman. She is also a past president of the Texas Tea Party of Republican Women.
José R. Rodríguez
State Senator, D-El Paso
State Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, was elected in 2010 to represent District 29. Rodríguez previously served as the El Paso County attorney for 17 years. Rodríguez began his 37-year legal career as a staff attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.
Leticia Van De Putte
State Senator, D-San Antonio; Chairwoman, House Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a pharmacist for more than 32 years, represents a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. A former-five term state representative, she is now serving her fifth term as a Democratic state senator for District 26. From 2003 to 2011, she served as the chairwoman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus.
Trade & Transportation – One on One with Gordon Bethune
Former CEO, Continental Airlines
Gordon Bethune earned worldwide acclaim at Continental Airlines for leading one of the most dramatic corporate turnarounds in United States history. Bethune began his career with Boeing in 1988, where he served as vice president and general manager of the customer services division. He retired from his post at Continental Airlines in 2004.