This week we formally seated as Texas Tribune directors six distinguished folks who believe deeply in our mission and, more broadly, in the importance of public service journalism. We're so lucky to add them to our already stellar board, which provides guidance and oversight and valuable advice and counsel. Since we're transparent about everything we do at the Trib — including who we are, from the top to the bottom of the org chart — I thought I'd tell you a few things about them.
Jane Borochoff is the founder and executive director of Educational Programs Inspiring Communities, a 15-year-old Houston-based nonprofit that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. An energetic community volunteer and exceptional social connector, Jane is a graduate of the American Leadership Forum, Leadership Houston and the Center for Houston's Future. She is also a past chair and past president of the Texas Lyceum. A native of Brenham — where, she says, she ate Blue Bell ice cream nearly every day in school — she's an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin.
John Chao is an independent investor who most recently served as the chief operating officer of New York Public Radio. Previously he was a partner in the strategy and corporate finance practice at McKinsey & Co., where he advised energy and commodity companies. A native of Houston, John has a degree in chemical engineering from Rice University and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Antonio Garza, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, is counsel in the Mexico City office of the White & Case law firm. He previously served as a member and as the chairman of the state’s energy regulating body, the Texas Railroad Commission — and was the first Latino Republican to be elected statewide. Before that he was Texas secretary of state, appointed by Gov. George W. Bush. He got his start in politics in the late 1980s as a Cameron County judge — the youngest person ever to hold that post. A Brownsville native, he has an undergraduate degree from UT-Austin and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.
Larry Irving is president and CEO of the Irving Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations. He previously served as vice president for global government affairs for the Hewlett-Packard Company. In the Clinton administration, he spent almost seven years as assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. A native of Queens, NY, he has a undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from Stanford University.
Margaret Spellings is president and CEO of Texas 2036, the Dallas-based nonprofit that is laser-focused on what it will take to ensure Texas remains a great place to live and do business through the state's bicentennial and beyond. She recently stepped down as the president of the University of North Carolina System. In George W. Bush's second term as president, she served as the U.S. secretary of education. In his first term, she was White House domestic policy adviser. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she's a graduate of the University of Houston.
Matt Thompson has been the editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Reporting since February. He previously served as the executive editor and deputy editor at The Atlantic, as the director of vertical initiatives for NPR, and as an editor and reporter at news organizations around the country, including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Fresno Bee. He's a former member of the board at the Center for Public Integrity. A native of Florida, Matt is a graduate of Harvard University.
Even after 10 years in business — yep, it's been that long, and you'll be hearing more about that milestone soon — all of us at the Tribune need all the help we can get. We cannot do this hard work alone. Donors at all levels fund our operations; readers give us great feedback; antagonists force us to challenge our closely held beliefs. Members of our board contribute a lot, at our quarterly meetings and in between, to the ongoing discussion about what the Trib is and what it should be in the next 10 years. We welcome their input and interest, and so should all of Texas.
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston, Texas 2036, the Texas Lyceum, Tony Garza and Margaret Spellings have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.