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Native of: Texas

Industry: Law

Region: Austin

Powers, a native of Beaumont, is a graduate of Lamar University and The University of Texas Law School. He served more than seven years in the Texas House of Representatives from his native Jefferson County.  In 1983, he served as chief of staff to Texas Governor Mark White.  Beginning at that time, Powers began helping advance the state’s high-tech, information and entrepreneurial economy.  He has been a principal participant in mobilizing Central Texas to create a business/civic/philanthropic network.  He also advises emerging technology leaders within and beyond Texas borders on creating economic development initiatives and shaping a collaborative future.

Powers was a leader in creating the Texas technology initiatives established in 2002 to redefine and reinvigorate the collaboration between government, academia and private industry.  In response to that strategy and the need to stay globally competitive with incentive programs, the State of Texas created a $295 million Enterprise Fund in 2003 and the Emerging Technology Fund in 2005.

For the first four quadrennial occasions that the National Law Journal named its list of 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, Powers was included, together with such other well-known attorneys as Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Treasury Secretary and Texas Governor John Connally. He was one of only 36 lawyers named to all four of the first such lists.