Governor Abbott announces executive director of Texas Space Commission

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Governor Greg Abbott is announcing a new executive director of the Texas Space Commission.

Norman Roy Garza, Jr. will be leading the way as Texas aims to become a national leader in the space industry and in space exploration.

“The Texas Space Commission was created last year to ensure that our great state remains the national leader in space exploration and innovation for decades to come,” said Governor Abbott. “Norman Garza will help lead that mission as the Commission’s first Executive Director.

Norman Roy Garza, Jr. joined the Texas A&M University System in 2014. Since then, he has served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Government Relations and External Affairs for three state agencies funded by the state legislature, Engineering Experiment Station and Engineering Extension Service and Transportation Institute, as well as the Vice President of Government Relations for the flagship campus, Texas A&M University in College Station. While at Texas A&M, Garza supported major initiatives such as partnering with U.S. Army Futures Command to create the Bush Combat Development Complex; obtaining management contracts from National Nuclear Security Administration for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Pantex Plant; and establishing the Texas Semiconductor Institute and the Texas Space Institute, a $200 million Texas A&M facility to be constructed next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In his role, Garza worked closely with the Texas Legislature on the development and passage of HB 3447 in the 88th Regular Session which established the Texas Space Commission and worked on the appropriation for the Texas Space Institute. Previously, Garza was an Associate Legislative Director at Texas Farm Bureau and also worked for a state senator at the Texas Capitol. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Edward’s University. He also studied at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina and earned a certificate through the Governor’s Executive Development Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Earlier this year, Governor Abbott launched the Texas Space Commission and announced the inaugural members of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium Executive Committee at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The Commission works to strengthen Texas’ proven leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity by promoting innovation in the fields of space exploration and commercial aerospace opportunities, including the integration of space, aeronautics, and aviation industries into the Texas economy.

The Commission is governed by a nine-member board of directors, who will also administer the legislatively created Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund to provide grants to eligible entities.

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