Charles R. Courtney, former president and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association, has been named associate director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation at The University of Texas at Austin.
Courtney will oversee finance and development initiatives, including donor relations and grant procurement. He also will supervise program managers and graduate research assistants carrying out educational outreach initiatives across the state. He replaces Mary Dixson, who is now executive director of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation in San Antonio.
Courtney has more than 30 years of government experience at the local, state and federal levels. At the Texas Retailers Association he worked with local governments, the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress advocating for the Texas retail industry. Previously he was director of personnel for the Texas Legislative Council. Early in his career he worked for State Representative Gibson "Gib" Lewis, including when Lewis became Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation strives to create more voters and better citizens by researching the ways in which civic participation and community understanding are undermined or sustained, and by developing educational outreach programs for increasing democratic understanding among citizens. Some of those programs include: the Campaign for Young Voters, Student Voices Project, New Politics Forum, Speak Up! Speak Out! and Tex Elects.