Commissioner George P. Bush announces key staff transition
President Trump appoints GLO Chief Clerk to pivotal Administration role, Commissioner Bush announces successor to only constitutionally mandated state position
AUSTIN — Today Commissioner George P. Bush announced that the current Chief Clerk of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), Anne Idsal, has been appointed by President Donald J. Trump to serve as Region 6 Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Commissioner Bush has appointed current GLO General Counsel Mark Havens to serve as the 30th Chief Clerk.
"I applaud President Trump for his appointment of Anne to the position of EPA Regional Administrator," said Commissioner Bush. "Anne has served as the Chief Clerk with distinction and has extensive experience that will greatly benefit the Trump Administration in achieving his priorities at the EPA."
Appointed in April of 2015, Anne Idsal was the first female Chief Clerk of the Texas General Land Office. Idsal is a graduate of Baylor Law School and joined the General Land Office as General Counsel from her previous position serving in the same capacity at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Previous TCEQ positions included Special Counsel, Executive Assistant to the Chairman, and Assistant General Counsel. Earlier in her career, Idsal served as a legislative adviser to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and interned for the Northern District Court of Texas and Texas Supreme Court.
"The GLO manages state lands, including oil and gas leases, for the benefit of our Texas School Children," said Commissioner Bush. "Mark's extensive experience in energy law has proved invaluable to the agency, but his ability to examine and advise on the complex issues and policies involved in the operation of the General Land Office makes him an ideal candidate to serve in this critical role."
Mark Havens sworn in as the new Chief Clerk of the Texas General Land Office
Mark Havens received his undergraduate degree and Master's in Public Policy and Administration from Baylor University prior to receiving his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. Havens has served as an attorney for the GLO for more than a decade rising up through the General Counsel Office from the role of staff attorney to Director of Oil, Gas & Energy before being appointed by Commissioner Bush to serve as General Counsel. Prior to serving at the land office, Havens was in private practice in the oil and gas sector in Longview, Texas.
In this constitutionally mandated position, Havens will act as the chief executive officer for the Land Office and manage the daily activities of the agency. The Chief Clerk is the only GLO employee, other than the Commissioner, who may act on the Commissioner's behalf, contractually bind the agency, and serve as acting Commissioner due to absence, resignation, impeachment or death. Since the Chief Clerk is designated as the substitute for the Land Commissioner, the position is bound by the same constitutional oath administered to elected officials.
The position of Chief Clerk is a historically significant role in Texas state government. The 1836 Republic of Texas law establishing the Texas General Land Office and the position of Land Commissioner also provided that the Commissioner must appoint a Chief Clerk to assist him in performing all duties required in his official capacity and to act as Commissioner in his absence. After Texas became a state and the Land Office became a state agency, the position of Chief Clerk remained.
The daily activities of the Chief Clerk include approval of all budget and expenditure matters; approval of all agency policies and procedures; approval of internal audit reports; executing all binding contracts related to agency activities; and final approval regarding all personnel actions. Other duties of the Chief Clerk are approval of all GLO legislative reports and agency publications; approval of all correspondence for the Commissioner's signature; approval of all agenda items prior to board and commission meetings on which the Commissioner serves; and, in the Commissioner's absence, representing him in his official capacity on all boards and commissions on which he serves as chairman or member.
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