Mr. John D. Esparza of Austin was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System on Feb. 14, 2013. He is currently the chair of the Facilities Committee and is a member of the Academic, Clinical and Student Affairs Committee. His term expires on Jan. 31, 2019.
Esparza has previously served the board as a member of the Facilities, Audit and Academic, Clinical and Student Affairs Committees and chaired the Board of Trustees of the Carr Scholarship Foundation.
Esparza serves as president and CEO of Texas Motor Transportation Association (TMTA). TMTA, one of the largest trucking associations in the nation, was established in 1932 in Austin.
Prior to being selected as TMTA president, Esparza served as senior advisor to Gov. Perry, focusing on policy, legislative and political issues. During his tenure, he was tasked to a major Perry administration initiative with focus on economic growth, prosperity and job creation in Texas. He assisted the governor in facilitating the state’s first-ever $295 million economic development endeavor called the Texas Enterprise Fund and the $200 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
He was recently appointed by the Texas Department of Transportation to serve on the Texas Energy Task Force and the Texas Panama Canal Stakeholder Work Group. Both groups were charged with bringing recommendations to the 83rd Texas Legislature. He has served on numerous statewide transportation policy and advisory committees. In February 2013, Esparza was appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission’s first Freight Advisory Committee, a panel of experts that serve as an ongoing forum for agency transportation decisions affecting freight mobility.
In 2007, Esparza received the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) State Director’s Recognition Award for his legislative leadership in state government. He serves on the March of Dimes Texas Public Affairs Committee (2007-present) and on the National Board of Directors for the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication (2008-present).
In addition to the cabinet-level position attained during his tenure with the Perry administration, Esparza served as special assistant to the governor. Before the 2000 presidential election sparked a political shuffle in Texas, Esparza was a personal assistant and travel aide in the Texas Senate to then Lt. Governor Perry. He also served as an assistant to the communications director for State Senator Teel Bivins (R-Amarillo) before joining Perry’s administration.
During the late ‘90s, Esparza worked extensively on Hispanic outreach under political advisor Karl Rove as then Gov. George W. Bush’s Political Coalition Director. Esparza also was a member of Gov. Bush’s advance team. Prior to that time, Esparza completed a fellowship with the American Association of Retired Persons, reporting to the state communications director.
Esparza also has served on the National Board of Directors for Hispanics for Opportunity Progress and Education (2000-2012). He is a member of the Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men (2000-present), the St. Austin Catholic School Advisory Board (2007- present) and is active with the Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council Pack 34.
Esparza, a fourth-generation West Texas native, earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in marketing at Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Leah, a native of Galesburg, Illinois, have three sons, Jacob Pecos, Joshua Brazos and Jack Sabine. The Esparzas are members of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and St. Austin Catholic Church.