AUSTIN – Kathleen Hartnett White, the former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), will join the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s staff later this month as the Director of its new Center for Natural Resources.

Foundation President Brooke Rollins made the announcement last Thursday at the closing dinner of the 6th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature.

“The Foundation has long been a respected and authoritative voice on how to apply the concepts of free markets and limited government to public policy,” Rollins said. “As the Legislature continues to grapple with how best to ensure an adequate water supply and improved air quality for Texas’ future, a growing number of legislators have asked us to engage and research these questions.”

“It is a rare opportunity when a state-level think tank can bring on board someone of Kathleen’s caliber and experience,” Rollins continued. “Her substantial policy knowledge will be a tremendous asset as we search for sound policy solutions to this series of intriguing yet perplexing challenges.”

The Center’s primary focus will be to illustrate why market mechanisms, performance based standards, property rights, and more rigorous scientific and risk-benefit analyses provide the most effective basis for environmental protection and are fundamental to sustaining the economic growth on which continual environmental improvement depends. Water policy will be one of the Center’s core issues, while the Foundation’s existing research on air quality, climate change, and energy will be transitioned over from its Center for Economic Freedom.

White was appointed to the Texas Water Development Board in 1999. Gov. Rick Perry appointed her as a TCEQ commissioner in October 2001, and designated her as its chair two years later. She did not seek re-appointment when her term expired last August.

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 received her bachelor and master degrees from Stanford University. She also studied comparative religion at Princeton University and law at Texas Tech University.

White contributed the article, “The New Value of Water,” to the Foundation’s August 2004 report, “Choppy Waters: Understanding the Challenges to Texas Water Policy.”

“I appreciate the positive impact that the Texas Public Policy Foundation has made on this state,” White said. “I am extremely motivated to work with them to develop and advocate policies which harness the power and creativity of the free market to further improve our environmental quality. Win-win solutions are indeed possible.”

The Center for Natural Resources will be the Foundation’s sixth policy center to be staffed on a full-time basis. The Foundation’s other policy centers are: Economic Freedom, Education Policy, Effective Justice, Fiscal Policy, and Health Care Policy.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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