Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Names Berkowitz Chair of Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Also appoints five members to the commission
Wednesday, December 09, 2009  •  Appointment

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has named Peter Berkowitz of Houston chair of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission and appointed five members to the commission, pursuant to Senate Bill 482 passed of the 81st Legislature, for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2015. The commission will work with organizations, agencies, museums, survivors and liberators to help preserve information and experiences of the Holocaust and other genocide events.

Berkowitz is retired founder and chief operating officer of GE Continental Controls Inc. and past chairman of the Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) Board. He is a member of the HMH Executive Committee and co-chair of the Development Committee. He is also a board member of the Houston Holocaust Museum Foundation Inc. and Executive Service Corps of Houston, and a past board and executive committee member of Hillel Texas. Berkowitz served in the U.S. Army. He received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

Laura Allen McCarthy of Richardson is a research technician for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She is co-founder of Texans Against Genocide, director of Defend Darfur Dallas, and a Genocide Intervention Network Carl Wilkens Fellow. She is also past finance chair of Art for Darfur and D.A.R.F.U.R., past children’s art activities director of the Tents of Hope National Gathering, and past co-chair of the Wolford Elementary Parent Teacher Association Arts in Education Program. McCarthy received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and is pursuing graduate studies at Southern Methodist University.

Zsuzsanna Ozsvath of Richardson is director of Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is also an award winning author receiving the Hungarian National Academy of Sciences Milan Füst Literary Award for the book Foamy Sky: The Major Poems of Miklós Radnóti, which she co-authored. Ozsvath received a Final Diploma in Piano from the Bartók Béla School of Musical Arts, a Concert Dipolma in Piano from the State Academy of Music at Hamburg, and a doctorate of German language and literature from the University of Texas.

David Schulz of Plano is senior director of development and special campaigns for Austin College. He is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a board member of the Plano Symphony Orchestra. He is also associate historian of the Hatton W. Sumner’s Foundation, and a past member of the University of Texas at Dallas Arts and Humanities Advisory Board. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.

LaSalle R. Vaughn of Helotes is pastor and founder of New Life Christian Ministry in San Antonio. He is a trustee of the Third World Leaders Association, city director of Christians United for Israel, and an advisory board member of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and San Antonio Association of Churches. He is also chairman of the International Community Development Corporation in San Antonio. Vaughn served in the U.S. Air Force and received bachelor's degrees from Miami Dade College and Florida International University, and a master's degree and doctorate degree from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.

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