Antonio O. Garza Jr.
Antonio O. Garza, Jr. is a partner of ViaNovo, a leading management and communications consultancy. He will also serve as Chairman of ViaNovo Ventures. In addition to his roles at ViaNovo, Tony will serve as Counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case. His work with White & Case, a premiere global law firm with 34 offices in 23 countries, affords his clients access to specialized practice and the firm's long track record of success in structuring emerging market financings and other complex cross-border transactions.
Prior to joining ViaNovo and White & Case, Tony served as the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, focusing his work on US interests in Mexico, international business development, and broadening and deepening the dialogue between the two countries. He is credited as being amongst the primary proponents of the landmark Merida Initiative aimed at addressing critical regional security concerns.
Ambassador Garza also has held a number of key positions in his home state of Texas. He was a partner in a leading Texas-based international law firm and was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1998. As Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission in the late 1990s, he oversaw the state's energy industry which employs more than 365,000 Texans and is responsible for more than $82 billion in Gross State Product. During his tenure on the Railroad Commission, he also served as vice chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, representing the governors of 30 member and eight associate states.
In 1994, then-Governor elect George W. Bush appointed Ambassador Garza as Texas' 99th Secretary of State and a Senior Policy Advisor to the governor. As Texas Secretary of State, he played a pivotal role in policy development and served as the governor's lead liaison on border and Mexico affairs. Ambassador Garza also served six years as Cameron County Judge, the county's top executive, championing crucial infrastructure projects related to water and sanitation services to lower income areas and overseeing the permitting and development of two international bridges.
Tony serves on the Board of Directors of Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS) and on the SMU Board of Trustees. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. In 2009, he received the Azteca Aguila, the Mexican government's highest honor bestowed upon a non-citizen.
Tony holds a B.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University School of Law and has been honored as a distinguished alumnus at both institutions.