Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall, Ph.D., today announced the hiring of a new governmental relations staff to represent the system and its component institutions before the Texas Legislature and other state and federal governmental entities.
Sean Cunningham, who served as Chancellor (formerly Representative) McCall's chief of staff in the Texas Legislature, has been hired as vice chancellor for governmental relations. Mike Wintemute, formerly communications director for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, will join the system office as director of governmental relations and communications.
As the chancellor's chief of staff in the Texas House Representatives since 1996, Cunningham managed the representative's staff, budget and legislative package through seven regular legislative sessions. He has also served since 2009 as senior policy advisor for the House Calendars Committee. Prior to this, Cunningham served as a legislative aide and advised on matters related to committees upon which McCall served, including: The House Committee on Higher Education, Ways and Means, State Affairs, Public Health and the Sunset Advisory Commission.
Cunningham earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He is president of The Empowerment Project, Inc., a non-profit organization which has sent more than $10 million worth of science and math textbooks to needy students in the Republic of South Africa, and donated more than $350,000 for children's health initiatives in north Texas.
Wintemute, who joined the Lt. Governor's staff in 2006, managed Mr. Dewhurst's communications and press operations during the 80th and 81st legislative sessions. He previously served as an appointee of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as spokesman for the California Republican Party and as a legislative consultant in the California State Assembly. He began his career and worked for nearly 10 years as a broadcast journalist.
Wintemute earned a bachelor's degree in telecommunications from California State University, Fresno, and a master's degree in communication studies from California State University, Sacramento.
The system's governmental relations team will also include Diane Corley, currently executive director of the Texas State University System Foundation and the Chancellor's Council. Corley formerly served with the Legislative Budget Board and received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin prior to graduating from The University of Texas School of Law.