Michael L. Williams
Michael Lawrence Williams (born May 31, 1953) is the former Education Commissioner of the U.S. state of Texas, in which capacity he was leader of the Texas Education Agency. Williams was appointed to the position on August 27, 2012, by then Governor Rick Perry. On October 15, 2015, Williams announced that he would step down as Education Commissioner at the end of the year to return to the private sector. Williams is also a former member of the elected Texas Railroad Commission, a regulatory body that oversees the oil and natural gas industries. He is the first African-American to hold a statewide elected executive office in Texas history. He was appointed to the commission by then-Governor George W. Bush in 1999, and won elections in 2000, 2002, and 2008 to retain the office before eventually resigning in 2011. He is also the fourth African-American to be elected to statewide office overall, following Morris Overstreet, Wallace B. Jefferson, and Dale Wainwright. On May 29, 2012, Williams ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the redrawn 25th congressional district seat that stretches southward from Tarrant to Hays counties.