Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Appoints Brian Newby Chief of Staff

Walt, Heckmann Named Deputy Chiefs of Staff

Wednesday, June 20, 2007  •  Press Release

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today appointed Brian Newby as his new Chief of Staff. Newby currently serves as the governor’s General Counsel. Additionally, Perry announced his appointments of Kathy Walt and Kris Heckmann as Deputy Chiefs of Staff. These new appointments take effect July 1, 2007.

“Brian Newby has proven himself to be an exceptional leader and manager who will bring immense energy, dedication and expertise to my administration as Chief of Staff.,” Perry said.

“I am honored that Gov. Perry has entrusted me in this new capacity to continue to help advance his positive, conservative agenda for Texas,” said Newby. “The governor has a deep commitment to public service and to providing greater opportunity for all Texans. I both admire and share his enthusiasm for public service and the betterment of our great state.”

Prior to becoming Gov. Perry’s General Counsel in November 2004, Newby was a partner at Cantey & Hanger, L.L.P., where he specialized in the areas of commercial litigation, regulatory, employment and business law. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Air National Guard. He serves as staff judge advocate for the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. He has served on the Texas Tech University Board of Regents from 1999 to 2004. He has also served on the board of directors of the Tarrant Regional Water District.

A long-time resident of Fort Worth, Newby is a graduate of Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He is a member of the Texas Bar Association where he served on the State Bar Mentor Committee, is past-president of the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Black Bar Association, and former director of the Tarrant County Bar Association and Tarrant County Bar Foundation. He was named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association in 1987.

“Kathy Walt and Kris Heckmann bring a wealth experience and expertise to their new positions that will not only benefit me but also the people of Texas,” Perry said.

Walt has served in Gov. Perry’s administration since December 2000 as his press secretary and, most recently, as senior advisor. Previously, Walt was a reporter for the Houston Chronicle and other newspapers in Texas, Virginia and Ohio. She also taught communications and journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University, Ohio State University and Sam Houston State University. Walt is a graduate of Ohio State University with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism.

Heckmann is currently serving as Gov. Perry’s Deputy Legislative Director.  Heckmann joined Gov. Perry’s office in 2001 as an advisor to the governor on transportation policy issues. Previously, he spent two years as a policy analyst and deputy general counsel for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Heckmann was raised in Dallas and attended Texas A&M University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He continued his studies at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University where he graduated with a law degree in 1996.

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