Each year, the governor of Texas appoints one public university student from across the state to serve on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which oversees all public post-secondary education in the state of Texas. This year, Governor Greg Abbott appointed dual-degree LBJ School/Texas Law student Annie Jones.

“I was delighted and honored to be appointed as the student member of the Coordinating Board” Jones said. “Most of all, I am excited to be a part of the progress toward the state's strategic higher education goals.”

Jones is referring to the Coordinating Board’s overarching goal that 60 percent of young Texans graduate with valuable certificates and degrees equipped with a marketable skillset and a manageable debt load by the year 2030. This bold plan, called the 60x30TX Plan, comes at a time when the state could face diminished incomes, resources and opportunities and will require the combined expertise and resources of many stakeholders. 

“Annie's service and commitment to improving education in Texas by way of this bold, fearless plan embodies the legacy of our namesake, President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is fitting that she will serve as the single student representative from across the state." —Angela Evans, dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs

While she still has more to learn about the Coordinating Board, Jones said her degree programs at the University helped to establish a solid foundation on which she can build, from learning how to navigate a state agency’s financial statements to understanding the laws governing administrative rulemaking in Texas.

“My most formative experience was taking the Policy Research Project course my first year at the LBJ School, which focused on higher education policy,” Jones said. “We held discussions about the shape of higher education in the future, and worked on some amazing projects supporting and informing the work of Texas policymakers in real time.”

The course was her introduction to higher education policy in Texas, and her professors, Harrison Keller and Kathleen Brock, opened doors, Jones continued.

“They helped set me on my subsequent career path, which has included researching for a strategic planning division at UT Austin, clerking in the Office of General Counsel at the UT System and interning for the Senate Higher Education Committee in the Texas Legislature,” she said.

“Annie Jones is an outstanding student, but her work only starts in the classroom. She immersed herself in law and government by working for the Texas Legislature and for UT System, gaining valuable experience in the application of her studies." —Gregory Fenves, president, The University of Texas at Austin

“I am very proud of Annie and her appointment to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,” said Angela Evans, Dean of the LBJ School. “Her service and commitment to improving education in Texas by way of this bold, fearless plan embodies the legacy of our namesake, President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is fitting that she will serve as the single student representative from across the state. We know that she will be a great addition to the board and its important work.”

“Annie Jones is an outstanding student, but her work only starts in the classroom,” said Gregory Fenves, President, The University of Texas at Austin. “She immersed herself in law and government by working for the Texas Legislature and for UT System, gaining valuable experience in the application of her studies. Governor Abbott made an excellent choice because Annie's talent and drive, along with her passion for education, make her an ideal appointee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”

Lyndon B. Johnson was not only our nation’s thirty-sixth president, but he was also a teacher in a Houston high school. When Johnson became President, he pushed forward a sweeping legislative agenda that included the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by the United States Congress. President Johnson’s legacy lives on at the LBJ School, where students tackle the most complex issues surrounding education policy both inside and outside of the classroom.