LBJ School announces new leadership at LBJ Washington Center | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Bill Shute named interim director

July 8, 2019, AUSTIN, Texas — Bill Shute, former vice chancellor of federal relations with The University of Texas System, will serve as interim director of the LBJ Washington Center, effective today, July 8, 2019. It was announced by Angela Evans, dean of the LBJ School.

Tom O'Donnell has resigned his position as inaugural director at the LBJ Washington Center. The search for a permanent director will begin immediately.

As interim director, Shute will lead the operations of the LBJ Washington Center, fostering growth of DC-based academic and nonacademic programs to enhance experiential and employment opportunities for students and raise the visibility and impact of the Center as a federal policy hub tied to a top 10 policy school. Key responsibilities include assessment and planning, operations and support, program development and relationship building.

"I am appreciative that Bill has agreed to serve as interim director, especially as we transition to the next phase of the Center's development," said Evans. "His time as vice chancellor of federal relations with The University of Texas System, coupled with 32 years of professional experience in and around federal politics in Washington, provides unparalleled insight and experience at the intersection of federal policy and higher education."

"We appreciate Tom's contributions these past four and a half years across a myriad of the Center's operations, especially as it relates to the Center's launch in fall 2015, when we welcomed the initial DC cohort. We wish Tom well in his future endeavors," said Evans.

Upon assuming the role as the Washington Center's interim director, Shute said, "It has been an honor to teach the outstanding students who have come through the program since its creation, and I look forward to helping the Center grow during this time of transition. I thank Dean Evans for this opportunity."

As vice chancellor for federal relations with UT System, Shute was responsible for facilitating all UT System and campus activities in Washington, DC. Before joining UT System, he spent 11 years as executive director of federal relations for SBC Telecommunications, Inc., and has also worked as a senior vice president in the government relations firm R. Duffy Wall & Associates, as a legislative assistant for a member of Congress and as a telecom trade association attorney. Shute holds a B.A. with honors from The University of Texas at Austin, and a J.D. from the University of Houston. He is also a member of the State Bar of Texas.


LBJ Washington Center
The LBJ Washington Center is home to the LBJ School's innovative DC Concentration, which operates as an integrated track within the LBJ School's traditional MPAff and MGPS degree programs. After a year of intensive policy coursework in Austin, students (LBJ DC Fellows) continue their studies at night in Washington, DC, while embarking on a six-month Policy Apprenticeship with a public, private, nonprofit or nongovernmental organization, jump-starting their Washington-based careers.

LBJ School of Public Affairs
The LBJ School, one of the nation's top 10 graduate public affairs schools, makes a difference, not only within the walls of academia, but also in the public and social dialogue of the world. Contributing viable solutions to society is the LBJ School's legacy and its benchmark. Its effectiveness in channeling the purpose and passion of students into professional careers is evident in the success of more than 4,300 graduates who are the living legacy of President Johnson's bold and fearless action. The University of Texas at Austin is home to the LBJ School. For more, visit