Governor Abbott Announces Outstanding Women In Texas Government Award Recipients

April 7, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

The State Agency Council to the Governor’s Commission for Women is proud to announce the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Award recipients for 2020. 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 leadership in four categories, and an independent committee selected the women whose contributions best exemplified the categories of Leadership, Professional Development, Community Involvement, and, new this year, Rising Star.

“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 Jennifer Hertsenberg, 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 award winners will be honored in a virtual ceremony on June 8, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., with special guest Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott and keynote speaker Justice Eva Guzman.

The Outstanding Women in Texas Government Award recipients for 2020 are:

Outstanding Leadership:  Shandra Carter, Deputy Executive Director for State Services, Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Outstanding Professional Development:  Rae Shel Lee, Sergeant, Texas Department of Public Safety

Outstanding Community Involvement:  Krystle Matthews, Women Veterans Program Manager, Texas Veterans Commission

Rising Star:  Endi Silva, Director of Program Development, Department of Information Resources

To attend the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Award ceremony, register online at

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.