Former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has spent his career at the intersection of public policy, business, and politics. He served as Speaker of the 150-member Texas House from 2009 to 2019, making him the longest-serving Republican Speaker in state history, and today he is the Chairman of the Texas Forever Forward political action committee.
Under the leadership of Speaker Straus, the Texas House focused on improving public schools and workforce readiness, funding the state’s water plan, directing billions of additional dollars to transportation improvements, and balancing the biennial Texas budget amid both prosperous and challenging economic conditions. Speaker Straus also prioritized mental health care and the protection of abused and neglected children. In 2017, he led the fight against discriminatory legislation. For his strong, thoughtful leadership on this and other issues, the Dallas Morning News named him Texan of the Year.
Six months after leaving the Texas House, Speaker Straus launched Texas Forever Forward. The committee promotes principled leadership and supports candidates, emerging leaders, organizations, and causes that are focused on Texas’ future. Priorities championed by Texas Forever Forward include economic growth, public and higher education, inclusivity, mental health care, investments in infrastructure, and civic participation.
Nationally recognized for his commitment to public service, Speaker Straus serves on the Brookings Institution Board of Trustees, and he is a member of the Class of 2009 of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership. He also continues to provide leadership with the national Republican Party by serving on the Board of Directors of the Republican State Leadership Committee, and he is a past Chairman of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee.
He continues to engage with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, serves as a member of the Honorary Board of Directors at the SMU John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, and serves on the Texas Biomedical Research Institute Board of Trustees. He is also Co-Chairman of Early Matters San Antonio, an organization that is working to rally the local business and civic community around the importance of high-quality early childhood education for all children. Speaker Straus is a Principal with La Cima Partners, LLC, a strategic consulting business. He is also a Partner in Bennett & Straus, LLC, a San Antonio-based insurance, investments and executive benefits firm.
Speaker Straus is a fifth-generation Texan and a San Antonio native. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Julie, live in San Antonio and have two adult daughters.