• July 1, 2024

Governor Abbott Announces Executive Director Of Texas Space Commission

Governor Abbott Announces Executive Director Of Texas Space Commission

Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Norman Roy Garza, Jr. has been named as the Executive Director of the Texas Space Commission. The Texas Space Commission was created to further cement Texas’ position as a national leader in the space industry and secure its future in space exploration and development for the next generation of Texans.

“The Texas Space Commission was created last year to ensure that our great state remains the national leader in space exploration and innovation for decades to come,” said Governor Abbott. “Norman Garza will help lead that mission as the Commission’s first Executive Director. From serving in several leadership roles with the Texas A&M University System and for the State of Texas, Norman brings a wealth of experience that will serve him well as he spearheads our state’s Space Commission. I look forward to working with Norman and the entire Texas Space Commission to secure the future of Texas’ robust space industry.”

“On behalf of my fellow directors, I’m pleased that Norman accepted the Executive Director position,” said Chair of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors Gwen Griffin. “His ideas and expertise will be of immediate benefit as we work on our first strategic plan and to hire key staff. I’d like to thank the directors on the hiring subcommittee for thoroughly and expeditiously conducting the search.”

“I am honored and humbled to be selected by the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors,” said Mr. Garza. “Governor Abbott, Chairman Bonnen, and the Texas Legislature have provided clear objectives for us to tackle in a short amount of time. Through strategic efforts by the Texas Space Commission, as well as critical input from members of our Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium, Texas will achieve innovative technological advancements that can significantly support many sectors of the commercial space exploration industry. In turn, the Lone Star State will continue to make substantial gains in economic development. Today, just like in 1964 when NASA opened the Johnson Space Center, Texans everywhere will be excited about what we are doing to help propel the Texas space economy into the future.”

Norman Roy Garza, Jr. joined the Texas A&M University System in 2014. Since then, he has served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Government Relations and External Affairs for three state agencies funded by the state legislature, Engineering Experiment Station and Engineering Extension Service and Transportation Institute, as well as the Vice President of Government Relations for the flagship campus, Texas A&M University in College Station. While at Texas A&M, Garza supported major initiatives such as partnering with U.S. Army Futures Command to create the Bush Combat Development Complex; obtaining management contracts from National Nuclear Security Administration for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Pantex Plant; and establishing the Texas Semiconductor Institute and the Texas Space Institute, a $200 million Texas A&M facility to be constructed next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In his role, Garza worked closely with the Texas Legislature on the development and passage of HB 3447 in the 88th Regular Session which established the Texas Space Commission and worked on the appropriation for the Texas Space Institute. Previously, Garza was an Associate Legislative Director at Texas Farm Bureau and also worked for a state senator at the Texas Capitol. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Edward’s University. He also studied at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina and earned a certificate through the Governor’s Executive Development Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Earlier this year, Governor Abbott launched the Texas Space Commission and announced the inaugural members of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium Executive Committee at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The Commission works to strengthen Texas’ proven leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity by promoting innovation in the fields of space exploration and commercial aerospace opportunities, including the integration of space, aeronautics, and aviation industries into the Texas economy. The Commission is governed by a nine-member board of directors, who will also administer the legislatively created Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund to provide grants to eligible entities.

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