Kathleen Hartnett White joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation in January 2008. She is a Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment.
Prior to joining the Foundation, White served a six-year term as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). With regulatory jurisdiction over air quality, water quality, water rights & utilities, storage and disposal of waste, TCEQ’s staff of 3,000, annual budget of over $600 million, and 16 regional offices make it the second largest environmental regulatory agency in the world after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Prior to Governor Rick Perry’s appointment of White to the TCEQ in 2001, she served as then Governor George Bush appointee to the Texas Water Development Board where she sat until appointed to TCEQ. She also served on the Texas Economic Development Commission and the Environmental Flows Study Commission. She is now serving in her fifth gubernatorial appointment as an officer and director of the Lower Colorado River Authority.
White is also co-owner of White Herefords and a partner with her husband in a 125 year-old ranching operation in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. She also is Vice-Chairman of the Texas Water Foundation and sits on the board of the Texas Natural Resource Foundation. She recently received the 2007 Texas Water Conservation Association’s President’s award, the Colorado River Foundation’s Friend of the River Award and the Texas Chemical Council’s Leadership Award.
A writer and consultant on environmental laws, free market natural resource policy, private property rights, and ranching history, White received her bachelor cum laude and master degrees from Stanford University where for three years she held the Elizabeth Wheeler Lyman Scholarship for an Outstanding Woman in the Humanities. She was also awarded a Danforth National Fellowship for doctoral work at Princeton University in Comparative Religion and there won the Jonathan Edwards Award for Academic Excellence. She also studied law under a Lineberry Foundation Fellowship at Tech University.
White was Director of Private Lands and the Environment for the National Cattlemen's Association in Washington, D.C. She has served as director of the Ranching Heritage Association, and was a special assistant in the White House Office of the First Lady Nancy Reagan.
She is a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattleraisers Association, the Texas Hereford Association, and the American Hereford Association. She is a former commissioner of the Texas Strategic Economic Development Planning Commission, a former board member of the Texas Wildlife Association and the National Cattlemen's Legal Defense Fund.
A long-time breeder of National Champion Jack Russell Terriers, Kathleen Hartnett White lives with her husband Beau Brite White in Bastrop County Texas outside of Austin and in Presidio County Texas on the far southwestern border of Texas.