GURI Advisory Board
The Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) aims to help Texas public institutions of higher education in recruiting distinguished researchers from around the world to Texas. The purpose of the GURI Advisory Board is to advise the Governor on applications received, and provide their professional insight when making decisions on which researchers to fund.
Chair, Sam L. Susser of Dallas has served on the GURI Advisory Board since September 2015. He is chairman of BancAffiliated, Inc., chairman of the Corpus Christi Athletic Club and a director of National Retail Properties. He previously served as chairman of Susser Petroleum/Sunoco, L.P. and Stripes, L.L.C. He currently is chair of the University Development Board at the University of Texas, a member of the Advisory Board of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, co-chair of Governmental Relations Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the MD Anderson Board of Visitors, and a director of the Board of Southwestern Medical Foundation. He also serves on the Executive Committee as the immediate past chair of the Driscoll Children's Hospital System in South Texas and on the Board of Texas 2036. Susser received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Appointed Chair by Governor Abbott in 2019.
Jacquie Baly of Sugar Land is president and chief executive officer for BalyProjects, a former member of the Sugar Land City Council, and former adjunct professor at the University of Houston. She is the Public Policy Director for the National Association of Women Business Owners Board and PAC Board member of the Houston Contractors Association. Previously, she served as a national delegate for the Women in Commercial Real Estate, and is a member of the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Transportation Policy Council and the Greater Houston Partnership's Transportation Infrastructure Advisory Committee. She is also past president of both the Fort Bend Professional Women’s Group and the River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club. Her awards include University of Houston's Alumni Association's "Rising Star Award,” Texas Executive Women's "Woman on the Move" and KTRK-13 “Woman of Distinction.” Baly received a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Houston and a master's degree in city planning from Texas Southern University.
Dr. Antonio Falcon of Rio Grande City is medical director of Family Health Center, L.L.P. He is a member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, American Academy of Family Practice, Texas Academy of Family Practice, Texas Medical Foundation, Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society, and the Health and Human Services Council. Additionally, he is a former member of the Parks and Wildlife Commission, United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, and the Nursing Facility Administrators Advisory Committee. Falcon received a Bachelor of Science from Baylor University and a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine.
John Goodman of Frisco is founder and executive chairman of Family ER + Urgent Care Centers, and is a board member, co-founder, former executive chairman, and former chief executive officer of Goodman Networks. Previously, he held leadership positions at Bell Atlantic, GTE, and Verizon. He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, board member of the Way of Grace Community Church, and former chairman of Friends of Scouting Circle Ten Boy Scouts. Additionally, he serves as a volunteer for Foodstep Uganda and Serving His Children Uganda, and he is a volunteer youth basketball coach for YMCA. Goodman received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Tech University.
Wendy Gramm, Ph.D. of Helotes is the retired chairman of the Texas Public Policy Foundation Board of Directors. She is a former senior scholar at the George Mason University Mercatus Center, where she founded the Regulatory Studies Program. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics, and administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, under President Reagan’s Administration. She also served as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. She is also a former member of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and an emeritae director of the Independent Women’s Forum. Gramm received a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College and a Doctor of Philosophy from Northwestern University.
Christy McClendon of Lubbock is executive vice president and managing partner of GRACO Real Estate Development, Inc. She is a member of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health National Advisory Board, member and former chairman of the Lubbock Independent School District Talkington School for Young Women Leaders Advisory Council, member and treasurer of the Lubbock Young Women’s Leader Foundation Board, and member of the Texas Tech University Research Park, Inc., Board of Directors. She is a former member and finance chairman for the Covenant Health System Board of Directors and a former member of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Board of Trustees. McClendon received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas Tech University.
Walker N. Moody of Houston is the president of Pickering Energy Partners. He was previously with Goldman, Sachs & Co., and prior a Captain in the US Air Force with international affairs and strategic planning duties in the Middle East, the Pentagon, and was a Social Aide-de-Camp at the White House (under President Bush). He is a member of the M.D. Anderson Executive Committee Board of Visitors and a board member of the M.D. Anderson Leadership Institute and the M.D. Anderson Clinical Operations and Competitive Assessment Advisory Group. He previously served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee and the Texas Public Finance Authority. Moody received a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts from Texas Christian University and a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University.
Mike Fernandez Shaw of Fredericksburg is owner and operator of Mike Shaw Automotive, which includes two dealerships in Texas. He is the former vice president of the Toyota National Minority Dealer Council and a former member of the Federal Reserve Bank Economic Advisory Council, Gulf States Toyota Dealer Council, Toyota National Dealer Council on Dealer Diversity, General Motors Hispanic Dealer Advisory Board, General Motors and Chevrolet National Dealer Councils, and the Toyota Lexus Dealer Advisory Network. He is a former board member of the Texas A&M 12th Man Foundation Board of Trustees and the South Texas Charity Quail Hunt Benefit and a trustee of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he is a member of the Texas A&M Athletic Ambassadors and the Texas A&M Champions Century Council and a life member and former board member of the National Western Stock Show Association. Shaw received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University.
Mica Espinoza Short of El Paso is Vice President of Development for Paso del Norte Community Foundation. She previously served as the Community Relations Manager for Texas Gas Service and the Executive Vice President at the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. She is secretary of the El Paso Children’s Hospital Board, member and past chair of the Workforce Solutions Borderplex, board member of the FirstLight Community Foundation, and a graduate of Leadership El Paso - Class 28 and Leadership Texas - Class 2016. Additionally, she is a former board member of the Borderplex Alliance and the El Paso ISD Education Foundation and former vice president of the YWCA Paso del Norte. Short received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. Additionally, she received a Certificate in Leadership Development from the U.S. Army War College’s National Security Seminar.