Spring 2018 Keynote Speaker
The Honorable Joe Straus
Speaker, Texas House of Representatives
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
Speaker Joe Straus
The Honorable Joe Straus is the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Known for his principled and inclusive approach to governing, Speaker Straus has focused on providing thoughtful and lasting solutions to the most serious challenges facing this fast-growing state.
Since 2005, Speaker Straus has been the State Representative from House District 121 in northeastern Bexar County. In 2009, his colleagues in the Texas House unanimously elected him to serve as the body's presiding officer, or Speaker, and he has been overwhelmingly re-elected Speaker at the start of the last four legislative sessions. Under the leadership of Speaker Straus, the Texas House has strengthened career readiness in public schools, put more universities on the path to Tier One status, provided long-needed funding to implement the State Water Plan, directed billions of new dollars toward transportation, and balanced every state budget. Speaker Straus has also put a focus on issues such as improving mental health care and child protection, and he has pushed to ensure that students with special needs have access to the educational services to which they are entitled.
Speaker Straus has received numerous awards and recognitions for his solutions-oriented leadership style. Recently, the Dallas Morning News named him the 2017 Texan of the Year. The newspaper wrote that Speaker Straus “protected Texas from some of its worst political impulses, prevented serious damage to the economy, and brought together enough bipartisan to check the far-right dominance in the Republican Party."
Speaker Straus is a fifth-generation Texan and a native of San Antonio with a long history in Republican politics. He worked in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He owns an insurance, investments and executive benefits practice in San Antonio, and he and his wife, Julie, have two daughters.