Governor Abbott Appoints Five To Texas Historical Commission

May 10, 2021 | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Donna Bahorich and reappointed Jim Bruseth, Ph.D., John W. Crain, Renee Dutia, and Gilbert E. “Pete” Peterson, III to the Texas Historical Commission for terms set to expire on February 1, 2025. The commission provides leadership and coordinates services to support projects commissioned by county historical commissions, historical societies, agencies and institutions interested in the preservation of archeological and historical heritage. The commission also acts as a clearinghouse and historical information center.

Donna Bahorich of Houston previously served as Chair of the State Board of Education. She was elected to represent District 6 in 2012 and reelected in 2016. Bahorich received a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from Virginia Tech University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Liberty University.

Jim Bruseth, Ph.D. of Austin is an independent archaeological consultant and the author of several books and articles on Texas archaeology. He is a member and former treasurer of the Society for American Archaeology and a member of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Register of Professional Archaeologists, and the Texas Archaeological Society. In addition, he is a board member of the Summerlee Foundation. Bruseth received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University.

John W. Crain of Dallas is the former vice-chair of the commission. He serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Summerlee Foundation and is a director of the Bryan Museum. He is past president of the Texas State Historical Association and is one of three life members of the executive committee. He is also a former chair of the Dallas County Historical Commission, an advisory director of the Texas State History Museum Foundation, and a director of the Southern Methodist University Clements Center. He also serves as an emeritus member of the Friends of the Governor's Mansion. Crain received a Bachelor of Arts in History from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in History from Texas State University. He also holds a Certificate in Arts Management from Harvard University and a Certificate in Museum Management from the University of California at Berkeley.

Renee Dutia of Dallas is president of Regali Inc., which owns and operates retail and food & beverage concessions at DFW and Dallas Love Field airports. Her expertise is in the branded apparel and uniforms market, working with national and public agency clients. Her new signature program is Be Awesome Blueprint By Regali. A current top priority, the initiative aims to transform the effectiveness of staff in the travel retail, hospitality and tourism sectors.  She serves on the Dallas Fort Worth Asian American Citizens Council Board and is the founder of Asian 100. She is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America and has completed executive management studies at Dartmouth. 

Gilbert E. "Pete" Peterson, III of Alpine has more than 50 years of professional experience in the varied fields of education, investments, timberland, and ranching. He has served on the Texas Historical Commission since 2007, and has served in many volunteer capacities in the Trans-Pecos region. He is an Emeritus Director of the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association, past president of the Board of the Museum of the Big Bend, and past vice-president of the Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies. While serving on the Alpine Public Library board, Peterson helped to manage construction of the city’s library. He serves on the Board of the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion. He is also a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Peterson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University.

These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.