UH System Chancellor Renu Khator Restructures Governmental Relations Office

Hiring of Darrin Hall, Alison Leland Will Result in Program with Broader Outreach, More Comprehensive Scope

University of Houston System Chancellor Renu Khator has announced a reorganization of the UH System governmental relations office. Khator has asked Darrin Hall, head of intergovernmental relations for the city of Houston, to lead the UHS Office of Governmental Relations as its executive director.  She also has selected Alison Leland to serve as interim director in charge of community outreach in this newly expanded office.

The opportunity to restructure the governmental relations office arose when Grover Campbell, who joined the UH System in 1984, announced that he will step down from his role as vice chancellor/vice president for governmental relations, effective May 31. Campbell said he believes, especially considering the many successes achieved during recent legislative sessions, that the time is right to step down and explore other opportunities at the State Capitol that have been postponed for some time. 

“Grover Campbell has been a loyal and productive member of my team, and I am grateful for his leadership, advice and dedication,” Khator said. “Grover leaves a rich legacy of impactful legislation in support of the UH System during his 27 years of service.”

In addition, James Anderson, executive associate to the chancellor/president, also announced his retirement, effective June 1, as he moves to California. “Jim has been the face of the university in the community; replacing him is nearly impossible,” Khator said.

“Given these developments, it is the right time for the UH System to create a comprehensive, proactive, synergistic, multi-site Office of Government Relations. With the hiring of Darrin Hall at the helm of governmental relations and Alison Leland to help continue the legacy of community outreach, we are taking a bold step in the right direction. Over the next year, Hall will recruit additional staff to complete his team,” Khator said.

Hall will begin his duties at UH on June 18. He grew up in Southwest Missouri and moved to Texas while serving as a member of the United States Army Air Defense Corps. While attending UH, he was selected as a Mickey Leland Fellow. Assisting both a Texas member of Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives, Hall gained experience in applying fiscally responsible principles to public policy issues.

He served as a senior aide and deputy director of government affairs under former Houston Mayor Bill White, and has led a large team of staff and lobbyists in accomplishing a very complex legislative agenda for the city of Houston under Mayor Annise Parker. 

“The opportunity to serve the University of Houston System at such a pivotal time is both an exciting opportunity and a great honor,” Hall said.

Leland also will begin her interim role on June 18. Leland is an attorney by training and a political observer by passion. Working side by side with her late husband, Mickey Leland, Alison obtained her first appreciation for the public life, which since then has grown into a strong commitment toward betterment of the community. She currently teaches in the UH Honors College and directs various community projects at the University of Houston.


The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions serving to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; the University of Houston-Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and the University of Houston- Clear Lake, an upper-division and master’s level institution. The system also includes three branch campuses, UH-Clear Lake Pearland, UH System - Northwest and UH Sugar Land, as well as a multi-institution teaching center, UH System Cinco Ranch. In addition, the System owns and operates KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station; KUHA-FM, Houston’s 24-hour classical music station; and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station. To learn more about the UH System, visit http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/