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Public Official of the Year 2015

Francisco Sanchez Jr Honored as UH Masters of Public Administration Public Official of the Year

Fourth Annual Public Official of the Year Luncheon Honors Harris County Public Information Officer

For the fourth consecutive year, elected officials, public servants, and other practitioners gathered to honor the work of public administrators in the Houston area at the University of Houston.  From the keynote speaker, Greater Houston Partnership CEO Bob Harvey, to the finalists, collaboration across jurisdictions with government, business and industry to solve problems was a resounding theme.

Mr. Sanchez, a University of Houston alum, and Public Information Officer for Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, was awarded the Public Official of the Year award due in part to his work with the Regional Joint Information Center—the one-of-a-kind national model that serves our region as one-stop shop for emergency public information to ensure that the public has the right information at the time they need.  “It is especially meaningful to receive the Public Official of the Year award from my alma mater.  Masters programs that train present and future public servants to problem solve and collaborate effectively are necessary to the success of our region.”

The other finalists were also recognized for their contributions for the region:

  • HD Chambers, Superintendent, Alief Independent School District 
    Mr. Chambers tackled significant budget cuts while providing pay increases to AISD employees and increased starting pay for teachers while also achieving excellent student performance from a population that is disproportionally economically disadvantaged and more than double the percentage of English language learners.  He also played instrumental role in House Bill 5 by joining a group of superintendents, parents, and business leaders on reducing state testing and redefining graduation requirements.
  • William Frazier, Prosecuting Attorney, Harris County Attorney’s Office of Child Protective Services Division 
    Mr. Frazier has worked on some of the most heinous cases of child abuse and neglect that occur in Harris County.  His current role requires that he supervise the legal proceedings of all such cases, but also that he coordinates with nonprofit organizations and recovery groups to ensure that the children affected by abuse are given the support they need.  At a time when resources are scarce and social work professionals are overburdened, this kind of coordination is critical.
  • Chris Reed, City Manager, City of Nassau Bay
    Mr. Reed rallied impacted communities in the region to join together to lobby Congress on the changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and its possible long term economic impacts in the region.   In large part as a result of this regional effort, BW-12 was amended in March of 2014 by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, modifying the original legislation to prevent the large increases in premiums that would have crippled many local economies.
  • Bruce Tough, Chairman, The Woodlands Township As President of the Woodlands Community Association
    Mr. Tough helped lead a three-phased process whereby future governance options would be analyzed and a consensus decision be implemented.  Voters overwhelmingly approved a change in governmental structure that allowed residents to ultimately determine their future and release The Woodlands from annexation possibilities by the cities of Houston and Conroe by entering into Regional Participation Agreements (RPAs) with both cities. The Woodlands is the only community of its size and circumstance in Texas’ history to implement such a landmark governance solution.

For more information about this event please contact MPA Public Official of the Year Project Manager Tiffany Hogue at UHMPA@mail.com or 832-524-7045.
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The University of Houston Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Program has been educating public servants for 40 years.  Graduates of the program have gone on to public service at the local, state and federal level as well as in non-profit sector.

Congratulations to our 2015 Public Official of the Year Nominees!

  • Bruce Tough - The Woodlands Township Chairman
  • Chris Reed - City Manager for the City of Nassau Bay
  • Francisco Sanchez - Liaison and Public Information Officer for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM)
  • HD Chambers - Superintendent of Schools, Alief Independent School District
  • William Sumpter Frazier - Managing Attorney of the Harris County Attorney's Office's Child Protective Services Division