The University of Texas at Brownsville
Dr. Juliet V. García has devoted her life’s work to public service and has become a national thought leader in higher education innovation.
Named the first female Mexican-American president of a US college or university in 1986, Dr. Garcia spearheaded the creation of the University of Texas at Brownsville in 1991 and formed a unique partnership with the local community college that consolidated the fiscal, physical and human resources of both institutions, eliminated redundancy in administrative structures, increased efficiency, and eliminated all transfer barriers for students in the South Texas border region. In 2011, Dr. Garcia began a grass roots effort to envision a new 21st Century University model. As the project gained statewide and national interest, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to create a new university in the Rio Grande Valley that embraced the 21st Century University guiding principles, consolidated two UT univeristies and established a medical school. Dr. Garcia was a key member of the team that successfully gained authority from the Texas legislature to establish the new univeristy for the new UT Rio Grande Valley University scheduled to open its doors officially in September of 2015.
Dr. Garcia is a convener of important conversations. She has served on the transition teams of two Presidential administrations, was a member of The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, and chaired the Advisory Committee to Congress on Student Financial Assistance and the American Council of Education (ACE), the nation’s largest higher education association. She was selected as one of 12 US presidents to participate in the US AID and ACE South Africa Project, charged with helping integrate higher education in South Africa after the end of aparthied. And annually, for more than a decade, she has been invited to present to aspiring university presidents at the Harvard Graduate School Institute for Educational Management.
Among the many honors she has received for her work is recognition by Fortune magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, the American Council on Education Lifetime Achievement Award, honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame and Brown University and the Mexican consulate’s Ohtli Award, the government’s highest recognition awarded to foreigners who have improved the lives of Mexicans living abroad. In 2009, Time magazine named her one of the Top 10 College Presidents in the U.S.
Dr. Garcia is committed to nurturing America's democracy by flinging open the doors of higher education for first generation college students, transforming fast-growing regions into highly educated centers of human capital, building a culture of innovation and experimentation and developing the next generation of diverse leadership.