The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s annual Policy Orientation brings together the most influential thought leaders and policymakers for the premier policy gathering, highlighting national, state and local issues. 

This year, the conversations fostered during Policy Orientation are even more vital as they come at a time when we must face new challenges, embrace new opportunities and set a course for public policy that will last generations. 

Press credentials are still available for in-person or virtual attendance. 

Here’s what’s on the agenda for today: 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 

10:00 AM Registration Opens  

11:30 AM-1:00 PM   Opening Keynote Luncheon: A Conversation with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott  

1:30-2:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels I 

The Jab or Your Job: Can the Government Demand Employee Vaccinations? 

Some local governments want to mask you, vax you, and tax you with or without your consent. The troubling rise in local authoritarianism has, at times, even come despite state laws and guidance protecting individual choice and freedom. Join our panel of experts as we review the proper role of government to impose individual public health requirements and discuss ways to keep Texas free. 


  • Matt Miller – Senior Attorney, Texas Public Policy Foundation (MODERATOR) 
  • Ryan Bangert – Senior Counsel and V.P. of Legal Strategy, Alliance Defending Freedom 
  • Rick Burnett – Vice President, Burnett Specialists 
  • Kyle Lamb – Analyst, Research and Communications, State of Florida, Executive Office of the Governor 


Skills that Pay the Bills: Developing a 21st Century Workforce 

Texas businesses desperately continue to seek skilled workers for their high paying jobs, yet we continue to see a misalignment with the vocational offerings in our public education system and the jobs that need to be filled. Join this discussion to learn how Texas should be changing the way educational institutions help the next generation fulfill their dreams.  


  • Erin Valdez – Policy Director, Next Generation Texas, Texas Public Policy Foundation (MODERATOR) 
  • Glenn Hamer – President and CEO, Texas Association of Business 
  • Jennifer Dirmeyer – Managing Director, Chief Accreditation Officer, Workforce Talent Educators Association 
  • Marc Pollicove – Lead CTE Instructor, Texas Premier High School @ Gallery Furniture   
  • Ethan White – Student, Texas State Technical College 


No Place to Call Home: Fostering the Right Policy for Kids 

Texas is facing a shortage of foster homes, resulting in children again sleeping in hotels, offices and other inappropriate places. This panel will examine the roots of the current foster care placement crisis, its impact on children and foster families, and will propose new ideas.  


  • Andrew Brown, J.D. – Distinguished Senior Fellow of Child & Family Policy, Texas Public Policy Foundation (MODERATOR) 
  • Scott Lundy – President/CEO, Arrow Child & Family Ministries 
  • Tyler West – Founder, Fostering Restoration Ministries 
  • Honorable Lois Kolkhorst – Texas State Senator, Texas Senate 


3:15-4:45 PM General Session  

Biden’s Border Crisis: Time for States to Step Up 

The abrupt and irresponsible changes to immigration policy made by the new administration in Washington have made Texas the epicenter of a historic border crisis. State officials have responded by both challenging federal negligence in the courts and scrambling to fill in the gaps. Join our panel in a candid conversation about the state’s response to the border crisis. 


  • Ken Oliver – Senior Director of Engagement & Right on Immigration, Texas Public Policy Foundation (MODERATOR) 
  • Steve McCraw – Colonel/Director, Texas Department of Public Safety 
  • Rodney Scott – Chief-Retired, US Border Patrol / Distinguished Fellow, TPPF 
  • Aaron Reitz – Texas Deputy Attorney General, Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton 


Getting Real on Mexico 

Rampant crime and corruption in Mexico have serious negative consequences for Texas and Texans. Why doesn’t the Mexican state do more to prevent it? Is Mexico truly a partner in the fight against cartels and trafficking? Do we need to understand the Mexican official role as something other than a trusted friend — or even as an antagonist? Join TPPF experts as we discuss how we get real on Mexico — and its role at the border.  


  • Joshua Treviño – Chief Innovation Officer, Texas Public Policy Foundation (MODERATOR) 
  • David Agren – Freelance Journalist 
  • John Davidson – Senior Editor, The Federalist  

4:45-5:45 PM Complimentary Cocktail Reception  

Learn more about Policy Orientation and view the full agenda at 

Click here to register for Policy Orientation as a member of the media.