Board of Directors

Biographies

Michael L. Klein, Chair

Michael L. Klein is engaged in independent oil and gas exploration and production in Midland. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in petroleum engineering in 1958 and an LLB in 1963. While attending law school, he worked summers as a petroleum engineer with Continental Oil Company and later served as an attorney for the company. He divides his time between Houston, Austin, Santa Fe, and Midland. He serves on the development board of The University of Texas at Austin, and chairs the University of Texas Press Advisory Council and the board of trustees of The Contemporary Austin. He also is a member of the Longhorn Foundation and the Site Santa Fe board of directors. He has previously served as a member on the board of trustees for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Chinati Foundation (Marfa); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City); the Cate School (Carpinteria, California); and as the chair of the board at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Leslie D. Blanton, Vice Chair

A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Rice University, Leslie Dyess Blanton serves on the advisory councils of the Children’s Museum of Houston, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., and the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin as well as the boards of The Park People, Inc., Young Audiences of Houston, the Center for Reform of School Systems, the Harris County Hospital District Foundation and the regional board of Teach For America. She is scholarship vice president of Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston, a Texas Cultural Trust member, and an active participant on committees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

John Kerr, Treasurer

John Kerr, a native of Houston, has lived in San Antonio since 1981. An active businessman and civic leader, he also has been writing for the past fifteen years. His first novel, Cardigan Bay, was published in 2008 and his second novel, A Rose in No Man’s Land, was published in 2011. Two more novels, Fell the Angels and Hurricane Hole, will be published in 2012. Kerr also coauthored with his late father Only A Khaki Shirt, a nonfiction memoir of World War II in the Pacific, which was published in 2006. Kerr’s business interests are currently focused on two biotechnology ventures that he founded: Azaya Therapeutics, which is developing novel anti-cancer drugs, and Evestra, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on women’s healthcare. Kerr also co-manages Acacia Capital, a private equity fund, with Steve Hassman. Kerr serves on the board of trustees of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which he chaired from 1998 to 2007, and on the boards of the McNay Art Museum, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the Menninger Clinic Foundation, the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, and the San Antonio Medical Foundation. He is a member of the distribution committee of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and of the advisory council of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He also chairs the Texas Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund. Kerr received a BA from Stanford University in history in 1970 and a JD from The University of Texas Law School in 1972. 

Joy Ann Havran, Secretary

Joy Ann Havran is a certified public accountant in private practice. She is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs and Leadership Fort Worth and a board member of Cook Children’s Medical Center and Jewel Charity Ball. She is a past board member of Mayfest Inc., Junior League of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, Fort Worth Country Day School, Harris Methodist Health Foundation, and March of Dimes of North Texas. She is also a founding trustee and past member of the Harris Hospital Doris Kupferle Breast Center and past fundraising gala chair for March of Dimes, Jewel Charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, Historic Fort Worth, Van Cliburn Piano Competition, and the Arts Council of Tarrant County. She received a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Texas Christian University.

G. Hughes Abell

G. Hughes Abell is founder and general partner of Llano Partners Ltd., a family partnership with ranching, farming, and cattle-feeding operations in Texas and New Mexico. In addition, he actively manages private investments in oil & gas, timber, and commercial real estate. He currently serves on the board and executive committee of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He is also on the board of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and the Texas Livestock Marketing Association. He is a trustee of St. Edward's University, the Texas Water Foundation, and the Texas State History Museum Foundation. He is a former vice-chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority, and a past chairman of the board of trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. He is a 1972 graduate of Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Betsy, reside in Austin and are the parents of two children.

Sharon Allison

Sharon W. Allison served on the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Governing Council and was the chairperson of the Western Hemisphere Board.  Sharon is past chairperson of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In 1994, she served as a delegate to the UN Conference on Population and Development and, in 1995, was a delegate to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She served as president of the Junior League of Waco and chairman of the Waco Community Foundation.  She is a former director of the St. Paul’s School board, The Guttmacher Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Health board of visitors, and Americans for the UNFPA.  She currently is a director of Pathfinder International, a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, The McLennan Community College Foundation board, board member of the Junior League of Waco (sustainer representative), and The University of Texas Liberal Arts Foundation as well as the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee.

Alwyn Barr

Alwyn Barr is professor emeritus of history at Texas Tech University, where he previously served as department chair. He received his PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in 1966. His prolific academic work, including Polignac’s Texas Brigade (2nd ed. 1998) and The African Texans (2004), focuses on Civil War, Southern, and African American history. He regularly publishes in journals such as Civil War History, Military Affairs, and Military History of the West, and frequently lectures at universities and academic conferences. His teaching, research, and leadership have all won awards from Texas Tech, and he is a former president of the Texas State Historical Association. He participated in our 2006 self-assessment as part of the NEH site visit team and returns to our board for his second tenure.

Shirlene Bridgewater

Shirlene Bridgewater is a high school teacher with twenty years of experience. She currently teaches AP English 3 and humanities at Marble Falls High School, where she also sponsors the school’s Sticks & Stones literary magazine. Her many awards include the Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award (2008), Highland Lakes Legacy Foundation Teacher of the Year (2010, 2008, and 2007), and Region 13 Secondary Teacher of the Year (2008). She has presented at several conferences and seminars, including the Marble Falls ISD Gifted and Talented Summer Academy, The University of Texas at Austin Harry Ransom Research Center Summer Teacher Institute, and the University of Houston/National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar. Her professional experience also includes public affairs, editing, and radio hosting.

Larry D. Carver

Larry D. Carver holds the Doyle Professorship in Western Civilization at The University of Texas at Austin, where he specializes in 18th century British literature and rhetoric. He also serves as director of the Liberal Arts Honors Programs and the Humanities Program, having previously served as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He received his PhD from the University of Rochester. His numerous honors include the UT Pro Bene Meritis Award, which recognizes outstanding dedication to the liberal arts, the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship, the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award, and the Liberal Arts Council Award for Outstanding Advising.

Maceo C. Dailey Jr.

Dr. Maceo C. Dailey Jr. is associate professor of history and director of African American Studies at The University of Texas at El Paso. In addition to serving two terms as chair of the Humanities Texas board of directors, he served on the advisory committee for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the boards of the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission and the Twelve Travelers Memorial of the Southwest. He currently chairs the board of directors of both the McCall Neighborhood Center and the Child Crisis Center of El Paso and serves on the boards of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and the Burnham Wood Charter School in El Paso, as well as the Advancement Board of Texas A&M University Press. He recently submitted for review a manuscript on Emmett Jay Scott and is currently working on the “Booker T. Washington Encyclopedia.” He co-edited a revised edition of Bernice Love Wiggins’s Tuneful Tales with Ruthe Winegarten; with Kristine Navarro, he co-edited Wheresoever My People Chance to Dwell: Oral Interviews with African American Women of El Paso.

Jesús F. de la Teja

Jesús F. de la Teja is Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Regents’ Professor of History, and director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State in 1991, he served as director of archives and records at the Texas General Land Office. He is a former president of the Texas State Historical Association and was the first state historian of Texas, serving from 2007–2009. He has been a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas since 2007 and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters since 2001. He co-authored two textbooks: American Anthem and Texas: Crossroads of North America. Most recently, he edited Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas. He holds a PhD in colonial Latin American history from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as MA and BA degrees from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Elinor Donnell

Elinor Donnell is a civic leader in Corpus Christi, where she has presided over the Junior League of Corpus Christi and the Texas State Aquarium Association and has also served as a member of the Corpus Christi Municipal Arts Commission and as a board member of the Texas Maritime Museum. In addition to her involvement in the Corpus Christi area, she is an active alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, where she received her BBA degree with a minor in education and was a member of the Orange Jackets. A life member of the Texas Ex-Students Association, she has served on The University of Texas development board since 1992 and has been a life member since 2001. In addition, she is a member of The University of Texas Chancellor's Council, the Longhorn Foundation, the President's Associates, and the Littlefield Society.

Sally Dunning

Sally Dunning is a fourth-generation Texan and a native of Dallas. She has been an interior designer for forty-five years. She has served on numerous boards, including the Dallas Auxiliary of the Gladney Center, the Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, the Dallas Art Museum League, Greenhill School, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Performing Arts Council, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the Council for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, SITE Santa Fe Foundation Council, and the Stewpot Alliance. She has also served as chairman of the board of Greenhill School and the Gladney Center for Adoption, and has successfully chaired or co-chaired major capital campaigns for Greenhill School, the Gladney Center, and Planned Parenthood of North Texas. Her husband, Tom Dunning, has been recognized for his extensive service to many organizations, projects, and issues in Dallas and the state of Texas. Her son, John Helms, is an attorney who is married to an attorney, and is the father of her grandchildren: Jack, age 10, and Grace, age 5. Her daughter, Meredith, is living on a sailboat with plans to charter her boat and continue her writing career.

Julius Glickman

Julius Glickman is a Houston civic leader and attorney.  A native of Big Spring, he earned his BA in Plan II and his LLB at The University of Texas at Austin. He was student body president, an Outstanding Student, and a member of the Tejas Club, Silver Spurs, and Friars. An active alumnus, he has chaired the Development Board and the Chancellor’s Council, and is the chair of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Development Board. He has also served on the Commission of 125 and is the chair for the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. In 2012, he was a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest award given by the Texas Exes. He was also a founding member of the Blanton Museum Council. He has served as chair of the board of Humanities Texas and has chaired the board of Houston Public Radio. He is a member of the International Academy Trial Lawyers and a recipient of the Pro Bene Meritis Meritis Award from the College of Liberal Arts in 2008. 

Joseph O. Jewell

Joseph O. Jewell is associate professor of sociology and interim director of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Race, Social Reform and the Making of a Middle Class: The American Missionary Association and Black Atlanta, 1870-1900 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), and co-author of “The Mis-Education of Black America: Black Education Since An American Dilemma” with Walter R. Allen in An American Dilemma Revisited: Race Relations in A Changing World (Russell Sage, 1996). His articles have appeared in The Journal of Negro Education, Urban Studies, Daedalus, and Research in Higher Education. His historical research on race and educational access has been cited in court cases dealing with affirmative action programs at public universities, including Rios v. U.C. Regents, Gratz v. Bollinger, and Grutter v. Bollinger. He received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998.

Ray M. Keck III

Ray M. Keck III is president of Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Prior to assuming this post in 2001, he was a faculty member of the university and served as department chair and provost. He holds an AB and a PhD in Romance languages and literatures from Princeton University and also studied at Harvard Divinity School, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro de Estudios Hispánicos en Madrid (Bryn Mawr College), and the Deutsche Somerschule am Atlantik. He serves on various higher education boards in Texas and is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. He was born in San Antonio and graduated from the Texas Military Institute in 1965. He began his teaching career at The Hotchkiss School in 1970. Over his forty-year scholarly career he has taught, studied, and written about Spanish literature with an emphasis on the Golden Age. Since his undergraduate days, he has also studied and played the organ, especially the music of J. S. Bach. He has often performed with orchestras and ensembles and has served as director of church music for parishes in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Texas. In Laredo, he has served as president of the regional P-16 council. He aggressively champions comprehensive, dual-language programs for all children in Texas schools. His wife, Patricia Cigarroa Keck, is a nurse and director of health services for the Laredo Independent School District.

Joseph R. Krier

Joseph R. Krier is principal of Krier Consulting Group and formerly served as counsel at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP where he led their Public Issues Management (PIM) Group. As former president and CEO of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, he has advanced the humanities through many civic and educational activities. As founding president of the Foundation for the National Archives, he played a critical role in shaping that agency’s identity as a leading cultural institution. As a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1994 to 1999, he formulated strategies for the expansion of the state’s colleges and universities. He has chaired the Arts Council of San Antonio, served on the San Antonio Fiesta Board of Directors, and participated in the Library and Literacy Campaign. He has also been a member of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s board of visitors. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the UT School of Law, he has served the university in numerous capacities, including as a member of the recent Commission of 125. Krier previously served on the Humanities Texas board of directors from 2005 through 2010. He is married to former state Senator Cyndi Taylor Krier.

Becky McKinley

Becky McKinley is a professional caterer and owner of Dining by Design, a catering company through which she dedicates a portion of her time serving not-for-profit functions in the Amarillo area and working with culinary arts programs at local high schools. She is also an author and food journalist, and in addition to her regular contributions to Accent West magazine and other online and print publications, she is currently working on a cookbook about beef. Governor Rick Perry appointed her to the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, where she is presently serving her fifth term. She was also appointed by First Lady of Texas Anita Perry to the Advisory Council for the Texas Conference for Women. She was honored in 2010 as Silent Samaritan of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Amarillo Area Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award and 7 Who Care Award. She serves as a board member of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health Advisory Board, and Women's Philanthropy Fund. She has previously served as a board member of the Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation, Polk Street United Methodist Church, KACV Public Television, Junior League of Amarillo, Amarillo Symphony Guild, Harrington Cancer Center, and City of Amarillo Traffic Commission. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University.

Manuel F. Medrano

Manuel F. Medrano is professor of history at The University of Texas at Brownsville, specializing in Mexican American history and culture. He is a member of the Humanities Texas Distinguished Speaker’s Bureau, the recipient of The University of Texas Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, and the current holder of the Houston Endowed Chair for Civic Engagement. He has authored three published historical/cultural poetry books about the border including En Cuerpo y Mente, Imagenes and En la Sombra de Mi Alma, co-authored a history book with Dr. Milo Kearney entitled Medieval Culture and the Mexican American Borderlands and a book with Dr. Anthony Knopp entitled Charro Days in Brownsville. His most recent book is Américo Paredes: In His Own Words, An Authorized Biography. Since 1994, he has produced and directed, in conjunction with the UTB/TSC Media Services, twenty-three oral history profiles of people and events in the Rio Grande Valley, including legendary folklorist Américo Paredes, acclaimed Tejano writer Rolando Hinojosa, and Chicano civil rights activist José Angel Gutierrez.

Virginia Mithoff

Virginia “Ginni” Mithoff received her BS in elementary education from The University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Houston for graduate school. After retiring from her teaching career, she began volunteering and serving on boards for various organizations, including the Houston Ballet Guild, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Harris County Hospital District Foundation, and many others. She currently serves on the School of Education Foundation Advisory Council of The University of Texas Development Board, The University of Texas School of Public Health Advisory Council of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board, and the Bayou Bend Committee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Ginni and her husband Richard have lived in Houston for thirty-five years. They have two children—Michael and Caroline—and four grandchildren.

Kit T. Moncrief

Kit T. Moncrief is a philanthropist whose leadership roles in Fort Worth reflect her many and varied interests, which include ranching, art, wildlife conservation, and travel. She is president of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, vice president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation, co-chair of the Fort Worth Zoological Association, and a member of the executive committee of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association and co-chair of its $30 million endowment campaign. She also serves as a board member of the Texas Ballet Theater, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Outside of Fort Worth, she is co-chair of the advisory board (the Museum Council) for the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as co-chair of the museum’s $75 million capital campaign, and she has served on the executive committee of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She studied art history at Southern Methodist University and participated in Texas Christian University’s Ranch Management Program. Her husband, Charles B. Moncrief, is an independent oil and gas producer and rancher, and they have three daughters.

Debbie Montford

Debbie Montford is known for being an energetic and effective community volunteer, an enthusiastic advocate for the arts, and a philanthropist. Currently, she is the chair and president of the Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum board of directors, an advisory director of the Plum Foundation, and a member of the Texas Tech University System Chancellor’s Council, Matador Society, and Sociedad de la Espuela. She is a current member and former president of the Texas Senate Ladies Club, a member of the Texas Women for the Arts, and a current member and past board chair of the Texas Cultural Trust Council. She currently serves on the board of governors for the Cancer Therapy Research Center in San Antonio. She also serves on the Texas Tech University System Strategic Planning Committee. She is a founding member of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, past chair of the Cultural Facilities Committee appointed by the Bexar County Commissioners, and former chair of the San Antonio Symphony Board of Directors. She was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System in 2010, where she currently chairs the Facilities Committee and is a member of the Academic, Clinical, and Student Affairs Committee. In 2010, she was honored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with the Hope Award for philanthropic fundraising. She received the 2013 Champion of the Arts Award presented by Texas Monthly in association with Texas Women for the Arts. She attended Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Monica Perales

Monica Perales is associate professor of history at the University of Houston and is a member of the Board of Directors of Humanities Texas. She received her PhD in history from Stanford University in 2004, and holds a BA in journalism and an MA in history from The University of Texas at El Paso. She is author of Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), which received the Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book in North American Urban History from the Urban History Association. She is also coeditor of Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2010). Perales’s general research and teaching interests include Chicana/o labor and social history, memory and history, immigration, race and ethnicity in the American West, Borderlands, and oral history.

Paula Peters

Paula Peters is a Dallas civic leader who previously served as senior director of special initiatives for the Communities Foundation of Texas. She is director of the Uptown Dallas Improvement District, advisory director of the Friends of the Katy Trail, a director on the Audubon Texas Board, and a member of the Council of Foundations and the Dallas Assembly. She is former chair of Preservation Dallas, the Preservation Texas Trust Fund, the Dallas Arts District Foundation, the Friends of Fair Park, and Arts District Friends. She is past vice chair of Preservation Texas and a former Texas advisor of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and completed her MA in historic preservation from Columbia University School of Architecture.

Carol Foxhall Peterson

Carol Foxhall Peterson of Alpine is general manager of the Gage Hotel in Marathon. She is former owner of Foxhall and Co, and past divisional vice president of Neiman Marcus. Peterson received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a culinary arts degree from the French Culinary Institute in New York. She served as chair of the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteer, and serves on the board of the Brewster County Tourism Council. 

Venus F. Strawn

Venus F. Strawn is an Austin civic leader and retired nurse. Raised in New York, she has lived in Austin for twenty-five years. She currently serves on the board of St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Fund and has been a co-chair for St David’s Foundation’s “Toast of the Town.” Strawn also serves on the steering committees for the Rise School, the Women’s Fund “Power of the Purse,” Notable Women of the Long Center, and the Women’s Trust for the Dell Children’s Hospital. She was the founder and a co-chair of “Dancing with the Stars Austin,” benefitting the Center for Child Protection. In 2009, Strawn was recognized as a “Women on Their Toes” honoree. She attended Fordham University in New York and received a nursing degree from the Roosevelt Hospital School of Nursing.

Chase Untermeyer

Chase Untermeyer has been an international business consultant since returning in 2007 from Qatar, where he served three years as United States ambassador on appointment of President George W. Bush. He has held both elected and appointed office at all four levels of government—local, state, national, and international—in addition to work in journalism, academia, and business. He is a graduate of Harvard College and served as an officer in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. The many government posts he has held include Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs under President Reagan and Director of Presidential Personnel under the first President Bush. He also served as director of Voice for America, the overseas broadcasting arm of the US government, from 1991–1993. He has also served as director of public affairs for Compaq Computer Corporation and vice president for government affairs and professor of public policy at The University of Texas Health Science Center. He is a member of the Texas Ethics Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a member of the boards of the St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities and of Harris County Precinct 1 Street Olympics. In previous part-time public service, he has been member and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the US Naval Academy, a commissioner of the Port of Houston, president of the Houston READ Commission, a member of the board of National Public Radio, member of the Defense Health Board, and chairman of the State Board of Education, appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush.