Texas Lyceum Swears In Renard U. Johnson of El Paso as 2017 President, Names 16 New Directors from Across Texas and Hosts More Engaging Public Policy Conferences

(AUSTIN) After wrapping up one of their most attended and most discussed on social media public conferences last month, officials with The Texas Lyceum today announced that Renard U. Johnson of El Paso, President and founder of Management and Engineering Technologies International, Inc. (METI) has been sworn in as their 2017 President. In addition, the non-profit, non-partisan premier leadership organization announced 16 new Lyceum Directors were selected (see list below) to join the organization, which is focused on cultivating the next generation of Texas leaders by engaging them in a wide range of timely public policy topics generating dynamic, yet respectful debate.

“As a proud El Pasoan I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this network of dynamic people into its 37th year,” said Johnson. “The Texas Lyceum plays a significant role among our state’s opinion leaders by gathering a diverse group of smart Texas leaders and providing them opportunities for civil discourse about significant policy issues which are important to the future of Texas and our nation.”

Johnson holds a B.S. in Business from The University of Texas at El Paso and is very committed to and passionate about his community. He is the former Chairman of the Board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch; Former Chairman of the Board of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and a former member of the UTEP College of Engineering Advisory Board. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the UTEP College of Business Gold Nugget Award in 2013 and the UTEP Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

One of the many advantages of serving as a Lyceum Director is the opportunity to participate in a list of select forums focusing on important public policy topics facing Texas such as the upcoming March conference in Corpus Christi entitled, “Two Americas: Guns’ Polarizing Effect on American Culture.” In June the group convenes in Washington D.C. for “Is Civility Lost? When Did Compromise Become a Dirty Word? Finding Common Ground in a Fractured Society” and then in Bastrop in October where the public policy topic is “Human Trafficking…Demystifying the Taboo.”

In addition to conferences, another key 2017 Lyceum program includes the 11th annual statewide independent Texas Lyceum Poll (date to be announced), examining the public policy issues most important to Texans.

The Texas Lyceum also announced that Brad Morrison of Boerne will serve as the Texas Lyceum 2017 President-Elect.

In addition, The Texas Lyceum has named the following outstanding Texans to serve as Directors in the Class of 2017:


  • Yvette Casares Willis, Senior Account Executive, Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer


  • Sarah Jackson, Director of Public Affairs, Dallas Citizens Council

San Antonio

  • Casandra Matej, President and CEO, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Lourdes Castro-Ramirez, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs
  • Lillian Riojas, Director, Media Relations and Communications, Valero Energy

El Paso

  • Eduardo Gutierrez, Vice President of External and Public Affairs for El Paso Electric

Fort Worth

  • Michael Crain, President, Krobar Holdings


  • Jay Kleberg, Associate Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
  • Joseph Kosper, President, moovel
  • Paul Miller, Associate Director, Clements Center for National Security
  • Emily Ramshaw, Editor in Chief, Texas Tribune


  • Amanda Saldaña, The Amanda Saldaña Law Firm


  • Michael Grace, Managing Principal, Metro Development Consulting


  • Stephen Robertson, Executive Vice President, Permian Basin Petroleum Association


  • Robert Schmid, M.D., President and Founder, Lubbock Plastic Surgery Institute

Driftwood/Dripping Springs

  • Walt Smith, President, Duck Documents/The Mallard Group
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