COLLEGE STATION The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today approved the appointment of former Texas Senator Tommy Williams as Vice Chancellor of Federal and State Relations for the Texas A&M System. Williams will formally take office on Dec. 2, 2013.
“Tommy Williams is a respected and dedicated public servant whose leadership as chair of the Senate Finance Committee during the 83rd Legislative Session played a significant role in prioritizing higher education,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the A&M System. “I have no doubt that his dedication will continue in this new role and that the A&M System will continue to lead the state in reforming higher education.”
Williams brings a strong legislative background to the A&M System. He served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives before he was elected to the Texas Senate in 2002, where he served nearly four terms before announcing his departure earlier this month. Williams currently serves as president of Woodforest Financial Services, an affiliate of Woodforest National Bank.
“This is an exciting opportunity to serve both our state and the Texas A&M University System,” said Williams. “I am in awe of the fantastic team leading our great system into the 21st century and it is humbling to be asked to join their efforts.”
Williams served 10 years on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, most recently as chair, where he earned a reputation as a leader in budgetary issues. He was instrumental in increasing the state’s Rainy Day Fund from $7 million in 2003 to more than $7.5 billion for the 2015 legislative session, the general revenue fund to over $2 billion, and the state’s credit rating. He was a member of the State Affairs Committee, Administration Committee and Open Government Committee. He previously served as Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation and Homeland Security Committee and the Senate’s Administration Committee.
He has been among the state’s “Ten Best Legislators” selected by Texas Monthly, and named “Most Valuable Player” by Capitol Inside, and “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Public Employee Association.
Williams graduated from Texas A&M University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting before beginning a career in industry and public accounting, which led to a transition to the insurance and financial services field in 1983. He and his wife, Marsha, have two sons and are active members of The Woodlands community.
Texas A&M System Regents have also approved the project scope and budget for the Live Virus Vaccine Facility set to be built in the bio-corridor.
The center will quickly develop vaccines in response to flu pandemics and strategies for responding to bioterrorism.
Regents elected to allocate $2.9 million for pre-construction and construction services.
The federal contract with the A&M System for the facility was announced in 2012 and is worth more than 285-million dollars and could last for 25 years.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.8 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, nine agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 125,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.
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