State Representative Henry Cuellar's recent earning of a doctoral degree was celebrated in a community reception hosted by Texas A&M International University Tuesday evening in the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.
Cuellar earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Government at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving his degree in Convocation Ceremonies held earlier this month at the UT campus.
University president Dr. Charles Jennett praised Cuellar's drive and initiative and said higher education in Texas has a special champion in Representative Cuellar. He noted that Cuellar is also an A&M International alumnus.
"We're always impressed with all our students' accomplishments, but feel a special sense of pride for what Henry has done. We admire his initiative and drive and know that his support of higher education has made a crucial difference in increasing State-wide access to higher education. We also consider him an inspiration to our students, all students and the people of Texas," Jennett said.
In addition to his Masters degree in International Trade from A&M International, Cuellar holds a Bachelors degree from Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. The degree combinations make Cuellar one of the most credentialed of State legislators.
Cuellar said the credit for his academic drive must be accorded his parents.
"Even though both my parents left school at an early age to work--my mom after the sixth grade, and my dad after the third grade--my parents always encouraged us to strive for the highest possible education. It has always been my personal goal to receive a Ph.D., and I do so in tribute to them," he explained.
Cuellar's doctoral dissertation, "A Comparative Analysis of Legislative Budget Oversight: Performance-Based Budgeting in the American States," poses and examines the question: under what circumstances do states adopt performance-based budgeting?
"I have always been interested in ways to streamline government to create a more efficient, effective, and accountable government to the taxpayer," explained Cuellar. "Performance-based budgeting is a results-oriented budget tool that sets goals and performance targets for state agencies, and measures their results. Performance-based budgeting has set a standard for efficient government in Texas, and a model for other states to follow," he added.
Cuellar is a seven-term member of the Texas House of Representatives. He has served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee for four terms, and has been particularly active in the budget oversight process.
He has chaired the Appropriations Interim Subcommittee on Performance-Based Budgeting for the past two interims,and is considered to be Texas' expert on performance-based budgeting.
In addition, Cuellar has been invited to speak throughout the country on performance-based budgeting by the Southern Legislative Conference, as well as the National Conference on State Legislatures.
For additional information, please contact the A&M International Office of Public Affairs at 326.2180.
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