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Kirk Watson

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Kirk Watson

Mayor, Austin, Texas
Kirk Watson

Mayor Kirk Watson has been immersed in public policy, spanning local and state government in Texas, for more than three decades. Watson served first as an appointee of Gov. Ann Richards before being elected mayor of Austin in 1997. In 2006, he was elected to the Texas State Senate and served for over 13 years, leading on a wide range of issues including education, health care, transportation, and government transparency. Kirk Watson has been described by Texas Monthly as “A man with a vision of what the community wants, and the moxie to carry it out.” During his previous tenure as mayor, Watson won praise for bringing different political sides together around transformative environmental and economic development initiatives. And as a Texas State Senator, he led the effort to build a new medical school at The University of Texas at Austin. Watson also served as the Founding Dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.