David Leebron

Incoming President and CEO

David Leebron is the incoming President and CEO of Texas 2036, a nonprofit, nonpartisan state policy organization working to ensure Texas remains the best place to live and work through the state’s bicentennial in 2036 and beyond. 

Prior to joining Texas 2036 in 2024, Leebron served for 18 years as president of Rice University where he is now President Emeritus and remains on the faculty as University Professor. Under Leebron’s guidance, Rice underwent a period of growth and transformation increasing its undergraduate and graduate student populations, enhancing the campus with over $1.8 billion in new construction and capital improvements (some currently underway), extending its research endeavors and international presence, deepening its relationship with its home city of Houston, and earning greater visibility locally, nationally and internationally.

Prior to taking the helm at Rice, Leebron was dean of Columbia Law School. A native of Philadelphia, he is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was elected president of the Law Review in his second year. After graduating in 1979, he served as a law clerk for Judge Shirley Hufstedler on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. He began teaching at the UCLA School of Law in 1980 and at the NYU School of Law in 1983. In 1989, Leebron joined the faculty of Columbia Law School. David lives in Houston with his wife Ping Sun who is active with a number of nonprofit organizations in Houston and serves as counsel to the law firm of Yetter & Coleman LLP. Leebron and Sun have two adult children.