2021 Midland Engagement Dinner Policy Experts


David Balat, Director, Right on Healthcare

David Balat has broad experience across the healthcare spectrum with special expertise in healthcare finance. He is a former congressional candidate in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District and a seasoned hospital executive with more than 20 years of healthcare industry leadership and executive management experience. He has earned the privilege of being invited to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform in Washington, D.C., and before various House committees in the Texas state Legislature.



Brent Bennett, Ph.D., Policy Director for Life:Powered

As part of the Life:Powered team, Dr. Bennett regularly speaks with policymakers, energy experts, and industry associations across the country. He is responsible for research, fact-checking, and spearheading many of the team’s policy and regulatory initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Bennett worked for a startup company selling carbon nanotubes to battery manufacturers, and he continues to provide technology consulting to energy storage companies. He is a native of Midland, Texas.


Andrew C. Brown, J.D., Director, Center for Families and Children

Andrew has dedicated his career to serving vulnerable children and strengthening families through community-focused, liberty-minded solutions. As an attorney, he has represented children in the child welfare system, advocated for the rights of parents, and helped build families through domestic and international adoption. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Virginia. His work on international adoption law and other child welfare issues has been published in leading legal journals and respected media outlets


Rob Henneke, J.D., General Counsel

Before joining the Foundation, Robert Henneke served as the twice-elected Kerr County Attorney where he brought conservative values to county government. Robert began his legal career serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the General Litigation division under the leadership of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Robert has appeared on national news shows, such as Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, and others.



Richard Johnson, Ed.D., Director, Booker T. Washington Initiative

Dr. Johnson leads the Booker T. Washington Initiative which examines the effects of public policy on African-American communities. Previously, he served as a chief of staff in both municipal and state governments. As chief of staff for a Houston City Council member, he played a significant role in drafting and navigating policies related to public safety, public works and housing and community development. During the 85th and 86th Texas Legislative Sessions. he served as a chief of staff and a senior policy analyst for a House  member and worked on education, public safety, healthcare and workforce development legislation.