Achievements in Public Service


Sonya Elissa Medina

Class of 1997

Sonya Elissa Medina serves as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Director of Projects for the First Lady. In this capacity Sonya is the key advisor to the President for all areas of education policy, from early childhood through higher education. In addition, she oversees First Lady Laura Bush’s projects and policy office, where she works on a variety of issues regarding education, women and children’s health and global democracy. She also serves as a presidential appointee on the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center. She has been honored as Hispanic Magazine’s recipient of the 2005 Government Service Achievement Award and serves as an Executive Board Member of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She earned her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University in 2000 and graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education. She is a native of San Antonio, Texas.

Abelardo Valdez

Class of 1964

Abelardo Valdez is an honor graduate of Texas A&M. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to serve as USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, a position he served until 1979. From 1979-81 he served as White House Chief of Protocol. He earned a law degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from Baylor University.



Cushing Memorial Library & Archives • Texas A&M University Libraries