Texas 2036 Names Former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings President & Chief Executive Officer

Big news at Texas 2036!

Former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will lead Texas 2036, a non-profit organization working on long-term policy solutions to ensure Texas continues to be the best place to live and do business, the group announced Wednesday.

The appointment of Spellings, an experienced national policy and thought leader, as president and CEO marks a key milestone in Texas 2036’s work to build a statewide network of corporations, non-profit organizations, foundations, private businesses, community leaders, and individuals — all working together to address the challenges facing Texas as the state grows and changes.

“I have worked closely with Margaret on and off for the better part of three decades and am thrilled she will be guiding Texas 2036 to achieve the ambitious goals we’ve set,” said Tom Luce, founder and current chairman of the board. “Our state has enjoyed decades of economic growth and prosperity, but the data shows we need a strategic plan to prepare for the future ahead. Margaret’s policy expertise and ability to create consensus that leads to action will be critical as we advocate for the actions our state needs to take over the coming years.”

Spellings most recently served as president of the 17-institution University of North Carolina System, where she led the system into a new period of performance, affordability, and growth. Prior to that, she served as president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, where she oversaw programs on economic opportunity, education reform, global health, and special initiatives on women’s leadership and military service. “I look forward to working with Texas leaders on ways to make sure our state government performs for all its citizens. There is a lot of work we need to do to keep Texas prosperous and thriving. We must raise the academic achievement of Texas students — ensuring they have the skills they need for the jobs of the future — and invest in the infrastructure that will keep Texas’ economy competitive,” Spellings said. “Texas 2036’s analysis has identified real and substantive risks to the future of our state and it’s clear we need a statewide data-driven conversation about these challenges now before it’s too late.”

In 2016, Tom Luce founded Texas 2036 amid growing concern that without careful consideration, planning, and decision-making, the tremendous opportunities Texas offers today may not exist for future generations. Luce has had an extensive career in both the private and public sectors. He was the founding and managing partner of the law firm Hughes & Luce LLP. He served as U.S. assistant secretary of education for planning, evaluation and policy development, chief justice pro tempore of the Supreme Court of Texas and as a member of the Texas Sunset Commission, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, the Select Committee on Public Education, and the Education Commission of the States. Previously, he founded and has led numerous non-profit organizations, including the Texas Business and Education Coalition, the National Center for Educational Accountability, the National Math and Science Initiative, and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

From 2005 to 2009, Spellings served as U.S. Secretary of Education, leading the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan initiative to provide greater accountability for the education of 50 million public school students. As secretary, she launched the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a plan to address challenges of access, affordability, quality, and accountability in our nation’s colleges and universities. She previously served as White House domestic policy advisor from 2001 to 2005, overseeing the administration’s agenda on education, transportation, health, justice, housing, and labor.

Texas 2036 gratefully acknowledges the extraordinary generosity of our donors, a list of which can be found at https://texas2036.org/support.

Read the press release here