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Alumni News

The MPA program has a forty-year history of development since it was chartered by the State of Texas. Our 313 (1968 to 2008) graduates have found rewarding positions across a broad spectrum of organizations. These include, first-and-foremost, local governments but also non-profits and private sector corporations. A profile of the jobs and organizations of our graduates, as shown below, supports the conclusion that UH’s MPA program is a leading educator of public servants.

Pie graph of graduates and fields they have gone to

Here’s what alumni say about their UH MPA experience and their careers.

Russ Frank, M.P.A. ‘98

David Hawes, M.P.A. 96’

Associate Vice President
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

Russ Frank serves as an Associate Vice President for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO), where he provides leadership and coordination for agency-wide special management projects.

He joined METRO to represent the agency to local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials. He held several positions in the government affairs and community outreach divisions, concluding with being the director of government affairs.

Russ played a key role in building political and community support for METRO that enabled it to build Houston’s first light rail line. This included work with Houston City Council to pass a consent agreement in November 2000 to allow the line to be built in the City’s right-of-way. He also helped manage the extensive public education campaign for the METRO Solutions long-range transit plan referendum that was on the ballot in November 2003. In 2008, he led METRO’s team to negotiate another consent agreement with the City of Houston to build the next five light rail lines.

Prior to joining METRO, he was in the private sector representing the civil construction industry for the Houston Contractors Association. He began his career working in city government as a council aide to long-time At-Large Houston City Council Member Eleanor Tinsley.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Houston.

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