Donna Blevins - Vice President, Policy and Partnerships
Raised as a military brat, Donna settled in Texas for good in 1971; she got her first taste of current events in Junior High, in Naples, Italy, when she started putting together mock news reports for projects in her social studies class. Her interest in current events stayed with her through high school and college speech and debate contests, and after graduation from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) that interest in current events morphed into political action. Her first volunteer effort was in the very early 80s working for the Bob Kruger campaign.
As a lobbyist for the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) from 1983-89, Donna experienced the real world of lawmaking and how the political process works.
In 1987 she went to work in the economic analysis division of then-State Comptroller Bob Bullock for 1 year, 3 months and 8 days (there are those of you who will understand this exactitude). It was during this time that Donna first started volunteering on the Ann Richards for Governor campaign, as a researcher during the time leading up to Ann’s formal announcement.
From there she became the Director of Communications for The Equity Center, a school finance research organization. This is when the Ann Richards campaign was in full swing, and Donna was bit by the political bug like never before. In 1992 she earned a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin while working at the Equity Center.
Having watched another round of the school finance trials first hand, Donna left lobbying and went to law school in 1994. After a short stint at some firms in Austin, Donna joined the Baron & Budd law firm in Dallas in 2001 and has specialized in plaintiffs' asbestos litigation ever since. She is currently working in Austin as an attorney for the Houston-based AkinMears, GP law firm.