Kara Belew works at the Texas Public Policy Foundation as the senior education policy advisor. In this role, she leads Foundation efforts to formulate policies to use taxpayer funds more effectively to improve student outcomes across Texas. She also plays an integral role in developing statewide budget policies.

Prior to TPPF, Kara worked as Deputy Commissioner of Finance at the Texas Education Agency, and managed the State’s $60 billion per year school finance system. Her accomplishments included vastly improving the transparency of the State’s school finance system.

Prior to joining TEA, Belew served as Statewide Budget Director for Gov. Greg Abbott. In that capacity, she helped to pass and fund the Governor’s education legislative initiatives including Teacher Reading and Math Academies, and Reading Excellence Teams.

Belew was also part of Gov. Rick Perry’s administration as an education policy and budget advisor. She was promoted to Team Leader and Senior Education Advisor for public education policy. As part of the education team, Belew helped to pass and implement legislation to ensure college and career-readiness standards for the state’s public education system. Her work also focused on school finance and economic development issues. She was appointed to the Education Commission of the States and served on the board of the Texas High School Project (now known as Educate Texas), which created STEM and early college high schools statewide. Belew also worked as Gov. Perry’s Director of Fiscal Accountability, where she routinely negotiated with the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies on behalf of Texas. She implemented procedures to evaluate statewide fiscal operations, tax and budget concerns.

In addition to her work in two gubernatorial administrations, Belew worked at the Office of the Attorney General as Senior Counsel. In this leadership position, she helped formulate the legal strategy for the State’s successful school finance litigation.

A graduate with honors from Southern Methodist University with degrees in Accounting and Political Science, Belew worked for five years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, L.L.P., as a Senior Associate on major public accounts. She became a C.P.A. in 2000, and then attended the University of Texas School of Law where she graduated with honors. Following law school, she completed a two-year law clerkship with the Supreme Court of Texas.

In her commitment to community service, Belew serves on the Board of Literacy First a non-profit dedicated to ensuring Texas students are reading by third grade.