TWC Commissioners

About the Commissioners

Three full-time commissioners are appointed to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) by the Governor, one each representing employers, labor, and the public. Together, they oversee the functioning of TWC and develop agency policy.

Mailing Address:
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St
Austin, TX 78778-0001

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Ruth R. Hughs – Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers

Photo of Commissioner Ruth R. HughsRuth R. Hughs
Commissioner Representing Employers





Ruth Ruggero Hughs is the Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers of the Texas Workforce Commission. Governor Greg Abbott appointed her to the three-member commission in July 2015.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) strengthens the Texas economy by providing the workforce development component of the Governor's economic development strategy. Texas boasts an incredibly skilled workforce ready to attract enterprise to the Lone Star State. By focusing on the needs of employers, TWC gives Texas the competitive edge necessary to draw business here.

Chair Hughs is dedicated to supporting a workforce system that creates value and offers employers, individuals, and communities the opportunity to achieve and sustain economic prosperity. In her role as the Commissioner Representing Employers, Hughs serves as an advocate for the over 550,000 Texas employers. Her office provides a variety of resources including training and assistance with workplace hiring, managing and recruiting matters.

Chair Hughs works to understand the needs of employers and takes great pride in serving as the first line of resources for all Texas employers. She is devoted to supporting the economic development and education that helps advance the skilled workforce that Texas demands.

She is proud to sponsor Texas Business Conferences across the state, offering businesses employment law guidance, as well as implementing initiatives for veterans, women entrepreneurs, and people with disabilities. She also serves as the chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs, which identifies issues impacting the state’s changing demographics.

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Julian Alvarez III – Commissioner Representing Labor

Photo of Commissioner Julian AlvarezJulian Alvarez III
Commissioner Representing Labor
2016 - Present





Julian Alvarez III is the Commissioner Representing Labor of the Texas Workforce Commission. Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed him to the three-member Commission on March 7, 2017.  His Commission appointment expires February 1, 2023. 

As Labor Commissioner, Julian Alvarez represents the interests of more than 13 million Texas workers with respect to TWC services and ensures that their concerns are considered in all Commission actions.

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Alvarez served as president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership fostering relationships and coordinating programs to advance regional economic development and employment opportunities. He also served as a Texas regional director for the U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson advising on legislative and policy issues related to South Texas. Prior to that, Alvarez served on the South Texas Drug Task Force as a state trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). After his service with DPS, Alvarez inspired stewardship and leadership as the director of college information for Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Awards and Recognition

2018 Appointed Official of the Year by the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children for his work on behalf of early childhood education.  Appointed by the Texas Secretary of State to the Border Transportation Advisory Committee. 

Commissioner Alvarez previously served on the board for:

  • Teach for America
  • Border Trade Advisory Committee
  • I-69 Alliance
  • RGV Lead
  • Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Texas State Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
  • UT Pan American President’s Circle.
  • North Harlingen Rotary
  • Collegiate Football Referee, Southland Conference

Commissioner Alvarez earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.

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Robert D. Thomas - Commissioner Representing the Public

Photo of Commissioner Robert D. ThomasRobert D. Thomas 
Commissioner Representing the Public
2018 - Present





Robert D. Thomas is the Commissioner Representing the Public of the Texas Workforce Commission. Governor Greg Abbott appointed him to the three-member Commission on October 15, 2018.

Commissioner Thomas serves as the representative for the public, promoting and supporting the growth of Texas’ world-class employers and talented workforce. In this capacity, his office advances innovative workforce and economic development strategies in collaboration with our education partners, local leaders, and industry to preserve our competitive edge as the best place to work in the world.

Before his appointment, Commissioner Thomas served as chair of the Texas Facilities Commission, board member of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and chairman of the Board of SafePlace. He is an attorney, businessman, and founding principal of a business strategy consulting and advisory firm. His entrepreneurial experience includes advising on business and organizational growth to start-ups and established companies across wide-ranging industries.

Commissioner Thomas holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and German from Loyola University in New Orleans, a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

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