Dr. Manny Gonzalez serves as Director of South Regional Operations for Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors to expand access to higher education across the nation. As Regional Director, Dr. Gonzalez leads strategic initiatives and education partnership efforts in the South Region which includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Through this work, Dr. Gonzalez expands access to higher education and builds pathways to careers in the high-demand, high-need workforce fields of education, nursing/healthcare, IT, and business.
Prior to joining WGU, Dr. Gonzalez served as Executive Director for the Community College Association of Texas Trustees, a membership organization representing more than 400 elected trustees and regents across the state’s 50 public community college districts. Dr. Gonzalez’s career also includes work for the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas House of Representatives, and the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Dr. Gonzalez holds a baccalaureate degree in Management from Trinity University, an M.Ed. in College & University Personnel Administration and Ph.D. in Education Leadership & Policy, both from the University of Texas at Austin. During his higher education academic career, Dr. Gonzalez focused his research efforts understanding and addressing issues related to college access, student success, adult learners, and college affordability.
In addition to his board service with Friends of the Children-Austin, Dr. Gonzalez currently serves as board secretary on the Austin Community College District Board of Trustees (Place 5), co-chair of the Austin 2030 Education Network, chair-elect of Leadership Austin, and as a director on the Trinity University National Alumni Association Board. In his free time, Dr. Gonzalez enjoys spending time with his wife Andrea and their three young children, coaching/watching their respective games at Town & Country Sports, and searching for the best hole in the wall coffee & taco spots across town.