Governor Abbott Announces 2018 Outstanding Women In Texas Government Award Recipients

August 10, 2018 | Austin, Texas

The State Agency Council to the Governor’s Commission for Women is proud to announce the 2018 Outstanding Women in Texas Government Award recipients. This biennial award honors women in state service who are helping to shape the future of Texas by contributing their notable talents and skills. Candidates were nominated by their respective state agency heads in four categories, and an independent committee selected the women whose contributions best exemplified each category.

“To serve the people of Texas is a great honor; to do so working alongside these exceptional public servants is a privilege,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Day in and day out, their tireless service, stewardship and leadership are truly an inspiration. The First Lady and I are proud to celebrate these women for their dedication and outstanding contributions to their agencies, to their communities and to all the people of this great state.”

“While we can count the more than 210,000 women who serve in state government and higher education in Texas, the ways in which they positively impact Texans’ lives every day are immeasurable,” said Liza C. Willmore, chair of the State Agency Council. “On behalf of the state of Texas, we are proud to recognize these women leaders for their outstanding public service.”

The awardees will be honored at a luncheon on Sept. 5, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, with special guest and keynote speaker Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott.

The 2018 Outstanding Women in Texas Government Awards recipients are:

  • Outstanding Professional Development: Dr. Rachel Garcia, San Jacinto College
  • Outstanding Management: Karen Bondy, Lower Colorado River Authority
  • Outstanding Leadership: Dona Medlock, Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Outstanding Community Involvement: Kathleen Murphy, Department of Public Safety

In addition to offering professional development training to its members, the State Agency Council supports the Governor’s Commission for Women, which seeks to promote opportunities for Texas women through outreach, education, research and referral services. This year, Governor Abbott charged the Commission with developing a strategy and implementation plan to help make Texas the number one state for women-owned businesses, to help address the issue of human trafficking, and to help in rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

To attend the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Awards Luncheon, register online at