Commissioners

  • John L. Nau, III

    John L. Nau, III

    City: Houston, Term: 2015–21

    John L. Nau, III is chair of the Texas Historical Commission. He is president and chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. Silver Eagle employs over 1,300 employees that serve 16 counties in Texas through operations in Houston, San Antonio, Conroe, Cypress, Pasadena, Rosenberg, Carrizo Springs, and Del Rio. Nau’s commitment to service is apparent through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Houston and throughout the country. His current involvement includes National Park Foundation Board of Directors, Civil War Trust Board of Directors, The Texas State Historical Association Board of Directors, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, University of Houston Board of Visitors, Honorary Trustee of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute, Honorary State Trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation, and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies. He also serves as a board member for Discovery Green Conservancy, Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation, and The Admiral Nimitz Foundation. Additionally, he is chairman of the steering committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and currently serves on the Board of Visitors, a position appointed by the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is founder and president of The Nau Foundation.

  • Earl Broussard

    Earl Broussard

    City: Austin, Term: 2005-23

    Earl Broussard was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 2005. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Broussard is the founder of landscape architecture and planning firm TBG Partners and currently serves as chairman of the board of directors. He started the firm in 1987 after working professionally for several well-known design firms in addition to teaching at Louisiana State University and Texas A&M University. Broussard received his Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University and his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects and previously received gubernatorial appointments for positions on both the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners as well as the Texas Historical Commission. He previously served for 12 years on the West Lake Hills City Council.

  • Monica Burdette

    City: Rockport, Term: 2016-21

    Monica P. Burdette is from Rockport, Texas—the location of Fulton Mansion, one of the Texas Historical Commission’s 21 State Historic Sites. Burdette recently retired to Rockport with her husband Ray after 26 years of managing her family-owned El Canelo Ranch and The Inn at El Canelo located in Kenedy County, just south of the King Ranch. She is a descendent of Francisco Yturria of Brownsville and a fifth-generation landowner of part of his holdings.

    Burdette served several terms on the Board of Directors of The Museum of South Texas History (MoSTH—previously known as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum) in Edinburg, where she served as Board Secretary. She chaired a MoSTH committee which produced a cookbook: “Mesquite Country: Tastes and Traditions from the Tip of Texas,” which won the McIlhenny Award—an annual award for best community cookbook in America. 

    Other activities include Burdette’s conservation efforts and nature tourism promotion. She has allowed important nature-related projects and research on El Canelo Ranch. One project involved research on the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and another project with the Texas Nature Conservancy identified a previously unknown plant species. She has served on several committees promoting nature tourism to the Rio Grande Valley. She also personally participated by hosting guests and field trips for nature-related endeavors to the ranch.

    Burdette’s other contributions include serving as chairman of the committee that founded “Wild in Willacy,” a nature festival in Willacy County (Raymondville, Texas).  She is also an active member of P.E.O., an organization which raises funds for educational opportunities for women.  She is a member of the Rockport Center for the Arts and the Art Center of Corpus Christi. 

  • John Crain

    John Crain

    City: Dallas, Term: 2007-19

    John Crain of Dallas is the vice-chair of the commission. He is president and CEO of the Summerlee Foundation. He is past president of the Texas State Historical Association and is a life member of its board of directors. Crain is also a former chairman of the Dallas County Historical Commission, an ex-officio member of the Sixth Floor Museum, an advisory director of the Texas State History Museum Foundation, and director of the Southern Methodist University Clements Center. Crain received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and a master's degree from Southwest Texas State University.

  • Wallace B. Jefferson

    Wallace B. Jefferson

    City: Austin, Term: 2015–19

    Wallace B. Jefferson is a partner at Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend, LLP in Austin. Prior to joining the law firm, Jefferson served as the Chief Justice to the Supreme Court of Texas from 2004 until 2013 and as an associate justice from 2001 until 2004. Justice Jefferson serves on the University of Texas Development Board, Council of the American Law Institute, University of Texas Law School Foundation, and the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Justice Jefferson has three times made Texas judicial history as the first appointed African American justice to the Texas Supreme Court, first elected African American justice to the court along with Justice Dale Wainwright, and then first African American chief justice to the Texas Supreme Court. Justice Jefferson received the "Pillars of the Foundation" award by the Northside Independent School District and is the namesake for the Wallace B. Jefferson Middle School in San Antonio. Jefferson received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy from James Madison College at Michigan State University and earned his Juris Doctor from the University Of Texas School Of Law. He is the recipient of the James Madison College Distinguished Alumnus award in 2002, the University Of Texas School Of Law’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2005, Michigan State University Outstanding Alumnus award in 2007, and Texas Exes' Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010.

  • Catherine McKnight

    City: Dallas, Term: 2017–23

    Catherine McKnight, a seventh generation Texan, was raised in west Texas where her family has ranched for many generations. Her family has a long history of dedication and commitment to Texas, its history, its preservation and its growth. She lives in Dallas and serves as General Counsel for Access Healthcare. McKnight received her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law. She is a member of the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association. McKnight is a  member of the Delta Delta Delta Alumnae and a former member of the Junior League(s) of Dallas and St. Louis.

  • Tom Perini

    City: Buffalo Gap, Term: 2011–21

    Tom Perini of Buffalo Gap is the owner/operator of Perini Ranch Steakhouse. He is a member and past president of the Texas Restaurant Association, a member of International Association of Culinary Professionals, James Beard Foundation, and the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health Advisory Board. He is a former board member of the American Red Cross, St. John’s Episcopal School in Abilene, and the Ben Richey Boys Ranch of Abilene. Perini grew up proudly surrounded by historians. Locally, Perini serves on the board of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, the Fort Chadbourne Foundation in Bronte, Texas, and various committees of the Buffalo Gap City Council, including Planning and Zoning. He graduated from Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio and attended the University of North Texas.

  • Gilbert E. Peterson

    Gilbert E. Peterson

    City: Alpine, Term: 2007–19

    Gilbert E. "Pete" Peterson III is an investments officer located at West Texas National Bank in Alpine. He is president of the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association, president of the Board of the Museum of the Big Bend and vice-president of the Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies. Peterson is past president of the Board of Leadership Big Bend and of the Rotary Club of Alpine, former member of the Alpine Public Library Board, and former treasurer of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion. He is also a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Peterson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University.

  • Daisy Sloan White

    Daisy Sloan White

    City: College Station, Term: 2011–23

    Daisy Sloan White has more than 40 years of experience in fundraising, development, communications, and planning. She has organized and executed many large local and national productions, including multi-day presidential inauguration events, Super Bowl, Major League Baseball World Series, and corporate and nonprofit events, large and small. She was recognized by the U.S. Secret Service with a certificate of appreciation in 2004 for her organizational, management, and communication skills as a result of her work on 41 @ 80, the 80th birthday for President George H.W. Bush. She continues working as a special events consultant.

    Volunteering has long been the hallmark of White’s life. She chaired the largest fundraiser in the nation for the American Cancer Society, the Cattle Baron’s Ball of Houston; the Nutcracker Market of the Houston Ballet, the very first year that it raised more than $1 million; and the Race for the Cure, continuing its reputation of breaking both attendance and fundraising records in its efforts against breast cancer.

    White currently is on the Texas A&M University Press Advancement Board and is a member of the Campaign Committee of The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University. She served as a member of the Governor’s Commission for Women from 2005–2011.

    She received her bachelor's degree from The University of Texas and her master’s degree in speech pathology from Southern Methodist University. She is married to John D. White, a partner in the Southern Funds Group in Houston. They have two daughters.