Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Public Policy

Public Policy Staff

Lilyanne McClean, Executive Vice President, Public Policy

Lilyanne McClean currently serves as the Greater Houston Partnership's Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. Ms. McClean began her tenure at GHP in November 2011 as the organization's Senior Vice President of Public Policy, leading the public policy team in advocating for GHP's local, state and federal legislative agendas. She served as interim president and CEO of the organization from July 1 to September 17, 2013.

Prior to joining GHP, she was part of the senior leadership team at K-Global, a public affairs and strategic communications firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. and run by the former Vice Chairman of Fleishman-Hillard. Before joining K-Global, McClean served as the senior policy and communications advisor for Bryan Cave, LLP, where she focused on client development. Prior to joining the firm, she was a Senior Vice President at Vox Global, another public affairs firm, part of the Fleishman-Hillard network.

Her extensive career in public policy, government affairs and public affairs began at American Express Company where she held multiple leadership positions in corporate affairs and communications. Based in Washington, D.C., she directed the organization's advocacy for global tax policies, managed the consumer finance, card, travel, banking and securities, and financial advisory policy priorities, and represented the company before Congress, the White House, and many Administrative agencies. Based in New York, McClean lead the company's global government affairs team and managed public affairs for its fastest growing region: Latin America and the Caribbean.

Throughout her career, McClean has been a primary resource for senior leadership, including two American Express Company CEOs and their global direct reports. She was hand selected to build and manage a global employee development program designed to drive high performance throughout a 140-person organization. Beyond the financial services sector, McClean has supported other global brand-based organizations including AT&T, Microsoft and Walmart.

Prior to joining American Express in 1996, Lilyanne was a policy analyst with the Institute for Strategy development, a consultancy that specialized in complex financial regulation. Her clients included the Financial Services Forum, Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and American Express Company. She also assisted several banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve Board the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

McClean has been an active member of the business community in Washington, D.C. holding several key positions on the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Council for International Understanding, and the Business Roundtable. Her community involvement includes volunteer activity at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center, and Suited for Change, an organization dedicated to helping women find their first path into the workplace.

Immediately prior to her move to Houston, McClean also taught graduate-level communications courses at Georgetown University's School of Continuing Education. Prior to her policy career, McClean worked as a management trainee and financial analyst on Wall Street at Chase Manhattan Bank and Bankers Trust Company, respectively. At Chase, she completed the bank's credit training program with honors before she entered the bank's middle market lending group, which serviced businesses with $1 million - $250 million in annual revenues. At Bankers Trust Company, she managed a $800 million securities portfolio for several Boston-based mutual fund companies, including Fidelity Investments. She earned her bachelor's degree in economics from Montclair State University, her J.D. from George Washington University Law School and her master's in communications and technology from Georgetown University.

Myrna Cantu, Executive Assistant, Public Policy & Communications

Myrna joined the Partnership in the fall of 2014 as the committee engagement coordinator and executive assistant to the Executive Vice President of public policy. In her role, Myrna is responsible for organizing the logistical details for all committee and subcommittee meetings, including email correspondence, agenda distribution and room reservations. Myrna is the go-to person for all committee administrative needs.

David Crowl, Vice President, Public Policy

David Crowl joined the Partnership as Vice President in the Public Policy Division in 2016. David comes to the Partnership with broad experience in government relations and communications. Most recently, he was the Vice President of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, where he helped attain the first 5-star accreditation in the Houston area from the U.S. Chamber. In this role, he led the development of the advocacy program to identify and discuss legislative matters that affect chamber members and their constituents.

Previously, he was also the Director of Communications at the Chamber, where he worked with various divisions such as community resources, education, infrastructure and government. During his tenure, the Chamber launched to encourage citizens to take part in their local government.

David holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Institute for Organization Management, the Fort Bend Leadership for Nonprofit Excellence and the Fort Bend Leadership Forum.

Ted Geer, Director, Public Policy

Ted joined the Partnership in the fall of 2014. Ted is the staff liaison to the Partnership's Municipal Finance Task Force.

He has been instrumental in helping the Task Force produce an ongoing white paper series and elevate issues surrounding the city's finances in the 2015 mayoral election. Currently, he also staffs the Partnership's Local Relations Committee and Business Issues Committee.

Prior to the Partnership, Ted worked for Acacia Financial Group, a top ranked national financial advisory firm specializing in municipal finance. As a senior project advisor, Ted developed an analytical cash flow model currently being used by the State of New Jersey Office of Management and Budget. He also performed financial analysis on more than 30 bond issuances. Prior to that, he worked at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., the Columbus, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and for the Treasurer of State of Ohio. Ted earned his Bachelor of Science in economics and statistics from Ohio State University.

Max Jones, Director, Government Affairs

Max joined the Partnership public policy team in the fall of 2012. Max currently serves as the Director of Government Relations at the Partnership. In this role, he is the primary point of contact for our state elected officials and their staffs. He is responsible for managing the Partnership's state legislative agenda and educating relevant parties on the Partnership’s positions, and he is the Houston government relations liaison to the Metro 8 Chambers of Commerce. Each legislative session, Max serves as the Partnership's representative in Austin.

Max currently staffs the Government Relations Advisory Committee, State Relations Committee and the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the Partnership's staff, Max worked as a policy advisor for State Representative Bill Callegari where he was responsible for communicating with constituents, lobbyists, elected officials and their staffs on legislative issues. He also worked as government relations staff for the Texas Workforce Commission, Travis County and the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association in Austin. Max earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Texas State University.

Jesse Ayala, Manager, Public Policy

Jesse joined the Partnership in the spring of 2014. Jesse contributes more than 10 years of legal experience as a manager on the public policy team. Jesse formerly practiced education law with a firm representing school districts. Currently, he manages the Partnership’s Education Advisory Committee, Early Childhood, K-12, and Higher Education Subcommittees and has been extensively involved in the formation of the Early Matters coalition.

Formed more than a year ago with 40 other organizations including civic, nonprofits and local businesses, Early Matters is a coalition focused on increasing high quality early education to ensure third grade literacy. In the 84th legislative session, Jesse managed the Partnership’s support of HB 4, the pre-K investment bill signed by Governor Abbott.

Prior to the Partnership, Jesse also worked for the Office of the New York State Attorney General and in the legal department of WNET, the nation’s top-rated public television station. Early in his career, Jesse served as Deputy Director of Government Relations for the Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association. Jesse also has extensive experience in political and legislative campaigns. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Mary’s University and his law degree from Fordham University.

Alicia Lee, Manager, Public Policy

Alicia joined the Partnership's public policy team in the fall of 2013. Alicia contributes more than 13 years of experience in public policy in her role as manager over the health care portfolio. She currently staffs the Health Care Advisory Committee, Biomedical Research Subcommittee, Health Professionals Subcommittee, and Texas Medical Center Task Force. The Health Care Advisory Committee is focused on analyzing polices and advocating to address the pressing issues in the health care system. Currently, the committee is focused on funding for health professionals, including Graduate Medical Education, preservation of the dedicated trauma care fund for indigent care and increased funding to our safety-net system.

Prior to the Partnership, she worked in Washington, D.C., as a senior associate in the Legislative Affairs department for the American College of Physicians, lobbying on issues related to internists, including delivery system and payment reform, workforce policy, and medical liability reform. She spent the first six-and-a-half years of her career working for Representative John A. Culberson (TX-07), first as a legislative correspondent, and then as his appropriations associate, handling the appropriations portfolio.

She serves on the Board of Directors for The Junior League of Houston, Inc. and the Kinkaid Alumni Association, and as a volunteer for Kappa Alpha Theta and Child Advocates, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Wake Forest University.

Steven Will, Manager, Public Policy

Steven Will joined the Partnership as a new manager in the Partnership Public Policy Division in 2016. Steven comes to the Partnership with significant experience in public policy and public pensions, which includes three Texas House legislative sessions in Austin. Most recently, he was a Legislative Aide for Texas State Senator Don Huffines. In this role, he drafted legislation related to several policy issues including transportation, public education and taxation.

Previously, he was Legislative Director for the Texas State Representative Stephanie Klick. He also served as the Legislative Director for Texas State Representative William "Bill" Callegari (now from District 132 - Northwestern Harris County). Steven brings experience in various areas that are important to the Partnership from public pensions to health care.

Steven holds both a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Art in public policy from the University of Colorado.

Joey Sanchez, Analyst, Public Policy

Joey joined the Partnership public policy team in in the spring of 2015. As a public policy analyst, he provides analytical data and research to support the Partnership’s policy priorities and member engagement.

Joey also serves as the staff liaison to the Quality of Place Advisory Committee. In 2015, the Quality of Life advisory committee discussed how talent attraction and the city’s image are vital to the quality of life in Houston.

In 2015, Joey also managed the Cybersecurity Task Force. In its third year, the Cybersecurity Task force produced its 3rd edition of the Cybersecurity and Business Vitality Guidebook, which outlines industry specific cybersecurity threats for small to midsize business.

Prior to the Partnership, Joey was an AR Manager for National Oilwell Varco (NOV), a global oilfield services provider. While at NOV, he developed business intelligence dashboards to pinpoint accounts receivable errors and opportunities for a $120M+ operation. Joey is currently a board member of the Greater Houston YMCA and is a leader for the United Way of Greater Houston. Joey earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA from Jacksonville University.

Regina Recinos, Jr. Analyst, Public Policy

Regina joined the Partnership public policy team in fall of 2010 as a committee assistant and is now responsible for keeping the team informed of various issues of interest to the Partnership across all issue areas. Regina adds to the team's success by managing and disseminating legislative and regulatory information. She also brings institutional experience to her current role in the areas of committee engagement and programming. Regina is uniquely positioned to bridge member engagement and policy advocacy in order to advance the Partnership's priorities.

She graduated from the University of St. Thomas, with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies in 2004.

Sandra Pham, Specialist, Public Policy

Sandra joined the Partnership public policy team in the fall of 2015 as a specialist. She joins the Partnership with experience in communications and marketing. Most recently, she was a marketing specialist for a large multinational oilfield services company providing innovative solutions, technology and services to the oil and gas industry. In this role, she assisted with overall corporate marketing focused on strategic positioning of the company and maintaining consistent brand messaging through the regions and product lines. During her tenure, she helped build a media program that included producing technical trade articles and press releases. Using her marketing communications background, Sandra will develop communication plans and collateral to extend the work of the policy committees.

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations from the University of Texas.

The Greater Houston Partnership Salutes Our Executive Partners