Ray Martinez III, JD
Ray Martinez serves as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC),
a comprehensive membership association comprised of a diverse mix of 48 community colleges from across Texas.
Public community colleges in Texas play a critical role in supporting the continued growth of our state’s economy by
expanding access to high quality and affordable academic programs, workforce education training, and continuing
education instruction. As President and CEO of TACC, Martinez provides leadership to advance state policy, institutional
practice, research – and with developing meaningful multisector partnerships – in support of Texas community colleges.
Before joining TACC, Ray served as Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Workforce Education for the Texas
Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he led the agency’s critical functions in academic programs, workforce
education, and postsecondary readiness and success. Martinez brings a deep understanding of higher education to
TACC. He previously served as President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Chancellor of Western
Governors University (WGU) Texas, and he has held senior government affairs positions at Rice University and Texas A&M
International University. Ray has also served as the director of the Committee on Higher Education in the Texas Senate.
In addition, Ray has substantial federal policy experience, having served in the Clinton Administration as regional director for
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and on the White House staff as deputy assistant to the president for
Intergovernmental Affairs. Ray returned to federal service in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush – and
confirmed by the United States Senate – to serve as a commissioner on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a bipartisan
federal agency responsible for assisting state and local governments to improve the process of election administration.
Beginning in 2007, Ray served as an adjunct professor of public policy at The University of Texas School of Law and the
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, where, over a seven-year period, he taught a course on election administration,
redistricting, and campaign finance. Ray has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which implements the accreditation process for public and private
institutions of higher education in an eleven-state region which includes Texas. Ray currently serves as a member of the
Board of Governors for the Austin Community Foundation, and as a member of the Board of Directors for Austin PBS.
A native of Alice, Texas, Ray received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University, his law degree from the University of
Houston Law Center, and he recently completed postgraduate studies at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard
Graduate School of Education. Ray and his wife, Beth, a clinical social worker, reside in Austin and have two children, Sofia
Grace, a second-year student at Bennington College, and Lorenzo Elder, who is in his first year at Rhodes College in Memphis.