2021 YTexas VIrtual
The 87th Legislative Session – An Executive Briefing
Join YTexas as we prepare for a wave of new companies entering Texas in the new year. A fast-moving, interactive event including short stories and live chat on why companies choose Texas – and why CEOs see a bright future for the Lone Star State.
Ruth Ruggero Hughs
Ruth Ruggero Hughs was sworn in as the 113th Texas Secretary of State on August 19, 2019. Secretary Hughs is one of six state officials named by the Texas Constitution to form the Executive Department of the State. In addition to serving as Texas’ Chief Elections Officer, Secretary Hughs is also senior advisor and liaison to the Governor for Border and Mexican Affairs, is the state’s Chief International Protocol Officer, and chairs the Border Trade Advisory Committee, which works to identify and address key border trade transportation challenges facing Texas.
Secretary Hughs has a proven record of public service, most recently having served as Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers at the Texas Workforce Commission. Prior to her appointment, Secretary Hughs worked as a licensed attorney and was a small business owner. She also previously served at the Office of the Texas Attorney General as the Director of Defense Litigation, where she was responsible for the successful management and oversight of the civil litigation divisions representing agencies across the state.
Secretary Hughs received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Rutgers Camden School of Law, and she earned a certificate in Leader Development at the U.S. Army War College’s National Security Seminar.
Phil Wilson became LCRA’s 11th general manager on Feb. 3, 2014. LCRA’s general manager serves as the organization’s chief executive officer and carries out LCRA Board policy, manages LCRA’s relationships with its customers and stakeholders, appoints and directs executive staff, and oversees projects and operations that support LCRA’s public service mission.
Prior to joining LCRA, Wilson was executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. Under the direction of the Texas Transportation Commission, he managed, directed and implemented TxDOT policies, programs and operating strategies. He also represented TxDOT before the Texas Legislature and other entities. Before joining TxDOT in 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of Public Affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company. In 2007, then-Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Texas’ 106th Secretary of State. In that position, he was the chief elections officer and the chief international protocol officer for Texas. Wilson also served as chair of the Governor’s Competitiveness Council and on the Texas Border Security Council.
Wilson currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Large Public Power Council. He previously served as the Board chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and as the chair of the chamber’s Opportunity Austin initiative, in addition to having served on the chamber’s executive committee. Wilson has a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University.
Phil Wilson, General Manager
Dr. Harrison Keller is a sixth-generation Texan with more than two decades of experience in educational budget and policy, digital learning, senior university administration, management, fundraising, and building effective coalitions among school districts, community colleges, universities, systems, and policymakers.
Dr. Keller’s appointment as the sixth Commissioner of Higher Education and chief executive officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was effective October 1, 2019.
Dr. Keller is a recognized innovator in policy and programs to improve college readiness and student success, especially for low-income and first-generation students. He is the founder and was Principal Investigator of the OnRamps dual enrollment initiative that provides college-level courses to tens of thousands of high school students across the state of Texas, and the Texas OnCourse initiative that works with Governor Greg Abbott’s Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative to improve secondary college and career advising across the state.
He came to the Coordinating Board from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was Deputy to the President for Strategy and Policy and a Professor of Practice. Dr. Keller also served at UT Austin as Vice Provost for Higher Education Policy and Research, and Executive Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Prior to coming to UT Austin, Dr. Keller was Director of Research for the Texas House of Representatives and Senior Education Advisor for the Speaker of the Texas House.
Dr. Keller has taught at Georgetown University, St. Edward’s University, and the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Gena Nivens Keller, live in Austin with their three children.