About The Governor’s Commission for Women
Since 1967, the Governor’s Commission for Women has served the State of Texas to benefit all Texans by supporting the endeavors and wellbeing of Texan women throughout the state. The Commission currently operates with a one-person staff and modest biennial budget, so it creatively utilizes interns, volunteers, and non-profit funds to develop and execute its strategies, implementation plans, and processes to further the Commission’s goals.
Administered within the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Office of the Governor, the Governor’s Commission for Women is authorized by Executive Order GA 01 and consists of no more than fifteen (15) Commissioners appointed by the Governor for a two-year term. The Commission meets quarterly and as needed to achieve its mission. The members of the Commission are well-respected community and business leaders who represent each region of the state, contribute perspectives from diverse backgrounds, and serve without salary.
The Executive Director for Governor’s Commission for Women is a full-time employee hired or appointed by the governor to develop and implement activities consistent with the provisions of the Governor’s executive order. The Executive Director is responsible for leading the Commission in the development and execution of strategic and implementation plans as well as performing the administrative duties of the Commission.
The State Agency Council
To assist the Commission in fulfilling its charge, The State Agency Council was established in 1983 and continues its charge as well through Executive Order GA 01. Appointments to the Council are made by the head of each state agency. The sixty two (62) agencies appoint one member and one alternate and the Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission for Women appoints its executive board. Members of the Council meet quarterly and the executive board meets monthly to assist with implementing the Commission’s strategies and to offer professional development training to its members.
In order to reduce the Commission’s dependence on state funding and enable the Commission to fulfill its mandate, two non-profits were established to support the Women’s Commission.
Beacon State Fund
The Beacon State Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1996 to educate and improve Texans’ civic participation by promoting community leadership and volunteerism. The board of directors consists of no less than three (3) officers and all serve without salary. The Beacon State organization funds many of the commission’s important projects.
State Agency Council
The State Agency Council established a non-profit organization in 2003 support the Council and Commission projects and activities. The executive board of directors are appointed by the Commission’s Executive Director and serve two-year terms without salary. The State Agency Council organization funds important service projects.
To learn more about our 2018-2019 Commissioners, 2018-2019 State Agency Council, and our Fellowship Program visit these pages:
Meet the Executive Director
Send a Message
As Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission for Women, Michelle Esper-Martin creates the agenda for strategic plans, goals, and objectives to address initiatives related to women-led business development in addition to women’s issues and volunteerism efforts. Hired in February 2018, she facilitates collaborative efforts and provides the link between the Governor’s Economic Development & Tourism Division executive staff, the First Lady’s Office, state agencies, non-profits, trade associations, and corporate partners focused on women’s issues.