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Advisory Council Members


advisory boardThe MPA Advisory Council was founded in 1988, and is composed of practitioners, students, and faculty members. The Advisory Council meets three times a year, and has made many recommendations that have improved various aspects of the MPA program. Profiles of some members of the Advisory Council follow. Regular members not profiled: Adrienne Arnold, Betty Elolf, Elena Esparza, Kollette Palacios, David Rejino, Paul Sanchez, Josh Shepherd, and Eddie Solis. Student Members not profiled: Carlos Calle, Stacy Foster, Loi Taylor, and Andrea Troncoso.


Debbie TuckerDeborah Tucker- Chair
Debby Tucker is Executive Director for the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Debby has been dedicated to ending violence against women since becoming a volunteer with the first rape crisis center in Texas in 1973. She became the Assistant Director of the Austin Rape Crisis Center, and then served as a founder and Executive Director of the Austin Center for Battered Women from 1977 until 1982. In 1982, she became the first Executive Director of the Texas Council on Family Violence. Under her leadership, the Texas Council grew to be one of the largest state coalitions with over 50 staff providing training and technical assistance, public education, and advocacy. The Texas Council started the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), with 24/7 service for all U.S. states and territories. In August 1996, Debby and Sarah M. Buel, JD, opened Tucker, Buel and Associates, offering customized consultation and training. In May 1998, Sarah and Debby co-founded the National Center to provide training, consultation and advocacy nationwide. Debby has extensive experience on the national level, serving as Co-chair of the U.S. Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence from 2000-2003. She was the founding chair of the National Network to End Domestic Violence during its development and passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence and for WomensLaw.org.


Phillip Ruiz- Vice Chair
Philip A. Ruiz is Vice President of Community Development Management Company, Inc., a firm with over 30 years of expertise in public administration and planning. He serves as a strategic member of the CDMC team and senior project manager. A skilled professional with extensive experience as a consultant, Mr. Ruiz works closely with numerous Texas communities and counties on a variety of federal, state, regional, and local projects. Mr. Ruiz also serves on the following Boards and Committees: Chairman, Planning and Zoning Commission (City of Lockhart); Chairman, Impact Fee Advisory Committee (City of Lockhart); Chairman, Central Texas Sustainable Indicators Project (CTSIP) (Williamson, Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell County), and Vice Chair, Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) – Bastrop, Caldwell & Fayette Counties Regional Council. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program of Texas State University-San Marcos has recognized Mr. Ruiz as a Distinguished MPA Alumni. He currently serves on the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program Advisory Council as Vice Chair of Student Orientation.


Ismael AmayaIsmael Amaya-Member
Ismael has worked in the Dean of Students at Texas State University for eight years, and is currently the Assistant Dean of Students. His duties have included the coordination of the University Mentoring Program and Student Justice and chairing the Behavior Assessment Team. Ismael recently completed the Master of Public Administration program. His Applied Research Project, “How First-Generation and Underrepresented Students Can Overcome Obstacles to Attaining a College Education: Handbook for a New Family Tradition” can be found at http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/318/. Ismael is or has been a member of the CenTex chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, Texas Association for College and University Student Personnel Administrators, and the Association for Student Conduct Administration. He was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.


Dustin McLemore– Regular Member
Dustin McLemore, MPA, is a Project Manager at Austin Energy where he oversees the utility's records and information management operations. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration and Political Science from Stephen F. Austin State University as well as an MPA with a concentration in Public Financial Management from Texas State. Dustin and his wife Christine reside in Round Rock and have one child. Additionally, Dustin is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.


James Quintero– Regular Member
James Quintero is a fiscal policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation where he contributes to research on state and local government spending, taxation, and financial transparency. Prior to joining the Foundation, James completed his Master’s of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Public Finance at Texas State University–San Marcos. While in attendance at TSU, he completed work on his degree.


Amy Duhon– Student Member
Amy Duhon is currently an MPA student at Texas State University. She has served on the Advisory Council for at least two years and plans to pursue a career in distance education at a community college or an online campus. Amy assists with processing open records requests at a state agency in Austin, Texas.


Chris JonesChris Jones– Student Member
Chris Jones has been a Career Advisor for two years and is currently working on a Master of Public Administration degree at Texas State University in San Marcos. He is heavily involved in employer outreach and is the Career Services Liaison to the Office of Alumni Relations and the College of Liberal Arts. On November 4, 2008, he was elected to a second three year term in Place 4 on the San Marcos City Council. He first won election to the post in December 2005. As the second Texas State University student in history and the first in 33 years to win election to the San Marcos City Council, helped to establish the Student Liaison Program between the students at Texas State and the San Marcos City Council. Additionally, he serves as vice chair of the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Steering Committee for the National League of Cities and State Director for Young Elected Officials. Jones has represented the City Council on the Convention and Visitor Bureau Board of Directors and the Minority Tourism Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Downtown Association, National Black Caucus of Elected Officials, Texas Municipal League, and the Texas Association of Black City Council Members. In 2009, Councilman Jones was awarded the “Elected Public Official of the Year” by the Centex Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.


Jo Wicker– Membership Committee Chair
Jo Wicker has almost 20 years in human resource consulting experience, providing services to Texas public school districts, the public and private sectors, and non-profit organizations. She consults with management from a variety of organizations to create effective processes and procedures for increased productivity and recruitment strategies for effective hiring. In addition, she provides clients with an array of employment regulations compliance strategies. A native Texan and long-time Austin resident, she is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. She has edited hard copy and online newsletters for human resource topics. Ms. Wicker received the James W. McGrew Award for her research in teacher recruitment and retention in Texas public schools. Wicker serves on the Advisory Board for the Masters in Public Administration at Texas State University and is on the faculty of the Certified Public Manager Program under the auspices of the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service. She is a member of the World at Work (formerly the American Compensation Association) and the Society for Human Resource Managers and holds the highest level of certification from both.


Jeff Lund– Regular Member
Jeff Lund graduated with a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Texas State University-San Marcos in 1990 and he is also a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). In his current position he manages and supervises Texas State’s compensation function. In addition, he conducts training on performance appraisal processes and resolves employee relations issues at the University. He has provided training, compensation, and employment services to public sector entities including the City of Austin and the State Auditor's Office. He also has provided training and consulting services for various state agencies and the Internal Revenue Service.


Aida Douglas– Regular Member
Aida Douglas' 17 year professional career has been primarily in the government and non-profit sector. She began her career working for member agencies of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In 1996, Aida relocated to Austin, Texas where she had the opportunity to work in Texas government at the Texas House of Representatives. She later went on to work for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where she worked closely with the minority business community. Since 1999, Aida has worked for the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. She currently serves as the Business Development Manager/DBE Officer, managing million dollar revenue projects including the agency's transit advertising program, business partnerships, as well as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for the agency. Most recently, the area of Title VI and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) has been part of her focus to ensure agency FTA compliance. She is the current President of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Chapter in Austin, Texas and has served as a President's Representative on the COMTO National Board. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from California State University Dominguez Hills and a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Texas State University. Aida lives in Austin with her two sons, Austin and Christian.


Lucy Cantu - Regular Member
Lucy Cantu has worked for the State of Texas for over 22 years in various state agencies. Ms. Cantu served on the board of the Central Chapter of American Society for Public Administration, henceforth CenTex ASPA, since 2004. She served as President of Centex ASPA in 2006 and 2009. Ms. Cantu received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. She received her Masters in Public Administration at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas in May 2004. Ms. Cantu also obtained a Legal Assistant Certificate from the Legal Assistant Program at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. Ms. Cantu enjoys her free time reading, hiking, and cooking for family and friends. She currently volunteers with the Austin Junior Forum as a new member.