Albert Hawkins

Board Secretary; Former Health and Human Services Commissioner

After a distinguished, 30-year public service career, Albert Hawkins brings an extensive level of executive experience, knowledge, and insight to the policy-consulting sector. His areas of expertise include health and human services policy, financing and operations, and Texas legislative processes and practices. He has gained substantive understanding and knowledge across a broad array of state fiscal, regulatory, and policy areas as well. Mr. Hawkins is widely acknowledged for his effectiveness in developing strategic solutions, formulating appropriate policy actions and responses, and facilitating successful business decisions.

In January 2003, Governor Rick Perry appointed Albert Hawkins to serve as Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner for the State of Texas, where he served until September 2009. As Commissioner, Mr. Hawkins provided leadership and strategic direction to the health and human services system in Texas. The Executive Commissioner oversees the operations of the five health and human services agencies comprising more than 54,000 employees, and works with a total annual budget of $25 billion. Direct responsibilities included coordinating policy decisions, adopting administrative rules and regulations, formulating a consolidated health and human services budget, improving system-wide business operations, and administering eligibility determination functions, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid Acute Care programs.

Prior to his appointment as Health and Human Services Commissioner, Mr. Hawkins served as assistant to President George W. Bush and secretary to the Cabinet from January 2001 through December 2002. In this senior White House staff position, Mr. Hawkins served as the liaison between the White House and the President’s Cabinet. Key duties included (1) advising the President of Cabinet activities and issues affecting Cabinet departments, (2) facilitating effective Cabinet involvement with White House policy development efforts, and (3) communicating White House plans and policies to Cabinet departments.

From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Hawkins was state budget director for Texas Governor George W. Bush. In this capacity, he served as the chief advisor to the governor on state fiscal issues, oversaw the development of the governor’s state budget, and represented the governor before the legislature on budgetary matters.

From 1978 through 1994, Mr. Hawkins was employed at the Texas Legislative Budget Board where he served as deputy director, assistant director for program evaluation, senior program analyst and program analyst. At the Legislative Budget Board, he was responsible for evaluating state agency funding and performance levels and providing staff leadership to members of the House Appropriations Committee.

Mr. Hawkins earned a bachelor’s degree in government from The University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He received a master’s of public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas in 1978.

Mr. Hawkins currently serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of Huston-Tillotson University and as a member of the St. David’s Foundation Board, Board of Directors of Child, Inc., and Advisory Council of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Previous community service roles include the following:

  • Former Board Chair, Austin Area Urban League
  • Former Board Treasurer, Capital Area United Way
  • Former Board Member, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Austin
  • Former Member, Board of Visitors, U.S. Naval Academy
  • Former Tri-Chair, Austin Independent School District Citizens Bond Advisory Committee
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, CASA of Travis County

He is the recipient of a number of awards, including:

  • Whitney M. Young Award, Austin Urban League, 2005
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, Austin Chapter of Blacks in Government, 2005
  • Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship, 2004
  • Honorary Doctorate of Public Service, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 2004
  • Distinguished Alumnus, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 2001
  • Outstanding Texas Leader, John Ben Shepherd Forum, 1998
  • Texas State Administrator of the Year 1998
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