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Board of Advisors

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Jeffrey Richard

Mr. Richard possesses over 25 years of professional high-level interaction experience with senior policy makers, business executives, and elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels.  He has advised clients in Washington, DC, Atlanta, Cleveland and Reno, and in every major city in Texas (e.g., Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas); and holds the honor of meeting every President of the United States since the late Ronald Reagan, including President Barack Obama; and the development of strong friendships with several members of Congress.


Mr. Richard is renowned for attracting implementation support from internationally-recognized foundations to leverage both technology and culture.  With substantial experience in media relations, Mr. Richard is a seasoned public speaker, well-versed in public policy, known for writing op-ed pieces, served on various editorial boards, frequently presents at higher education policy conferences, and serves on the statewide Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT) board of directors.


Mr. Richard has the prestige of being the former President and CEO of the Austin Area Urban League, a $2 million nonprofit agency employed 21 employees and operating over 12 education, housing, employment, and training programs. He served as Vice President of Education and Workforce Development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, where he studied policy and monitored outcomes within K-12 and higher education for academic achievement and student success.  During his tenure, he also managed the largest Division of pro-business lobbying for the largest city in Central Texas, wrote and won grants, developed events of interest to the education and business communities, prepared testimony to the Texas Legislature for Chamber Volunteer Leaders, planned staff meetings of executive-level volunteers, and analyzed legislative and other policies for consideration and implementation by the Chamber's Board of Directors.


While working in Washington, DC, Mr. Richard served as a staff member in the U.S. Congress for both the House and Senate. As a Budget Analyst and Legislative Assistant, he reviewed multi-million budgets for fire and parks camps, and recreation departments. As an Associate and City Representative, he analyzed, validated, and justified budgets to elected City Council members during the annual budget process, and reconciled monthly budget requests.  While the Senior Staff Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Richard monitored issues and drafted correspondence for Speaker Jim Wright's signature and represented him at community events, and planned and executed diplomatic visits (e.g., Bishop Desmond Tutu, French President Francois Mitterrand, and the 75th Diamond Birthday Gala to honor Lady Bird Johnson in Statuary Hall). He also oversaw the creation and installation of wheelchair-accessible Braille ramps, tactile maps of the U.S. Mall - still on display in the U.S. Capitol Building, and experienced daily contact with the 2nd highest elected Constitutional Official in the U.S. Government.


As a Registered Lobbyist and Federal Grants Researcher, Mr. Richard advised on policies and funding opportunities benefitting city clients, and developed in a precursor to the World Wide Web the GRANTS NOTIFICATION SERVICE© which used copyrighted media to notify clients of Federal grant opportunities.  He successfully arranged meetings and speaking opportunities for clients for Members of Congress and Administration Officials throughout cabinet-level departments, assisted in obtaining the release of $11.6 million in Economic Development, and facilitated the administration appropriation for the Fort Worth Stockyards Infrastructure development. 


While serving with the U.S. Conference of Mayors as the Director of Information Services, Mr. Richards helped to create the innovative Mayors Business Council, coordinated the resources of business and government to address large and complex public policy challenges; and conducted technology planning, requirements analysis, design, testing, and the production lifecycle of all technology issues.  He also maintained inventory of all software licenses and conducted periodic audits to identify unlicensed or unauthorized software use; developed procedures for disaster recovery; developed and implemented a 300-page interactive website; and awarded the Hammer Award for re-engineering in 1998 by then-Vice President Gore for contributions that created the “State and Local Gateway” (e.g., a Federal government one-stop shop, at http://www.statelocal.gov).


Mr. Richard also served as a Trustee of the Austin Community College District Board of Trustees for nearly a dozen years, having been elected to every officer position, including two terms as Chair of the Board.

Education

• Masters of Science: Urban Economic Development, Harvard University

• Bachelors of Science: Honors Economics & Political Science, Texas Christian University

Certifications

• Public Policy Studies (University of Texas at Austin)

• Nonprofit Social Entrepreneurship (Clark Atlanta University)

Affiliations

• Sloan Fellow (Harvard University)

• Magna Cum Laude (Texas Christian University)

• Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (Texas Christian University)