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For Immediate Release
Januaray 27, 2003

White House Fellows to Meet with Key Officials in Houston, Texas and Austin, Texas

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2003 - The White House today announced that the 2002-2003 Class of White House Fellows will meet with key leaders from the public and private sectors from January 27 - 30, 2003, in Houston and Austin, Texas. The meetings are part of the Fellows' second domestic policy study trip. During the meetings, the Fellows will examine a broad range of issues in the state. It is the second domestic policy trip of three policy trips that the Fellows will take during their fellowship year.

The policy study trip includes meetings with:

Prominent public and private sector leaders who are alumni of the White House Fellows Program from Texas include:

Congressman Joe Barton (TX, R-06): In 1981, Congressman Barton was selected for the prestigious White House Fellows Program and served as an aide to Department of Energy Secretary James B. Edwards. In 1982, he returned to Texas as a natural gas decontrol consultant for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Company before being elected to the Congress. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy & Air Quality of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, on the House Science Committee, and is a member of the House Republican Steering Committee, a council which sets strategy for House Republicans.

First Assistant Attorney General Barry McBee (TX): In 1989, Barry McBee was selected for the prestigious White House Fellows Program and served in the Office of Cabinet Affairs. Before then -Governor George W. Bush appointed him Chairman of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC). In 1995, McBee served as Deputy Commissioner to now-Governor Rick Perry at the Texas Department of Agriculture. The TNRCC's mission is to protect the state's air, water and natural resources, mainly through a permitting process. One of its goals is to "protect public health and the environment by administering enforcement programs that promote voluntary compliance with environmental laws and regulations."

Professor Robert Marbut, Jr., Northwest Vista College: In 1989, Robert Marbut, Jr. was selected to serve as a White House Fellow in the Office of National Service. He is a former San Antonio City Councilman who was elected to a senior position with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as the new Chairman of the USOC's National Governing Body. Presently, Marbut is a professor of government and criminal justice at the Northwest Vista College.

President & CEO, Merrie Spaeth, Spaeth Communications: In 1980, Merrie Spaeth was selected for the prestigious White House Fellows Program and served at the FBI. Founded in 1987 by Merrie Spaeth, Spaeth Communications has handled internal and external communication for local, national, and international corporations and organizations. Drawing on her experience as a White House Fellow, Spaeth advises CEOs and top corporate officers from around the country to develop communication strategies.

About the White House Fellows Program

Founded in 1964 by President Johnson, the White House Fellows program is a non-partisan program for leadership and public service. In its fourth decade, the program offers exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government by working with senior White House and Cabinet officials. Fellows repay that privilege by working after the Fellowship year as private citizens on their public agendas and contributing to the Nation as future leaders.

The program has fostered a legacy of leadership, with nearly 600 alumni who are respected leaders across the country and in their professions. Alumni include Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, former CNN President Tom Johnson, and American Red Cross President Marsha Evans. The President's Commission on White House Fellowships is accepting applications for the 2003 - 2004 Class until February 1, 2003. More information is available at


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