COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today selected Ray Bonilla as the A&M System’s new general counsel during a special telephonic meeting. Bonilla is a partner in the Austin law firm of Ray, Wood & Bonilla.
Prior to joining the firm, he served as general counsel for the Texas Comptroller’s Office, where he was the primary legal advisor to the comptroller in his role as the state’s chief tax administrator and chief financial officer. Throughout his career, Bonilla has represented a wide range of governmental entities, businesses and individuals on issues involving state and local taxation, open government, elections, ethics, and procurement.
“Mr. Bonilla’s extensive legal experience in both the private and public sectors will be a valuable asset for the A&M System,” said Richard A. Box, chairman of the Board of Regents. “In addition, he is a lifelong public servant, which aligns with the A&M System’s mission of serving the state of Texas through our teaching, research and outreach activities.”
“Ray Bonilla is the best administrative lawyer I have ever worked with,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the A&M System. “I am pleased he has agreed to join us as our general counsel.”
Bonilla received his B.B.A. in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin in 1981, and his J.D. degree from the UT School of Law in 1984. He has earned the top “AV” rating by the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, which is based upon confidential surveys of members of the bar and the judiciary regarding legal ability and ethical standards.
Bonilla is active in a variety of community and professional organizations. He has served as president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, and on the board of directors of the St. David’s Foundation, the United Way Capital Area, the Travis County Bar Association, the Austin Community Development Corporation, Ballet Austin, and the Texas Lyceum Association.
The Texas A&M System’s general counsel is responsible for all legal matters affecting the system and provides legal counsel to the Board of Regents, chancellor and CEOs of the A&M System. The general counsel also serves as the liaison to the attorney general’s office on litigation cases and matters involving attorney general opinions. The general counsel ensures efficient and prompt delivery of legal services to the system’s 11 universities, seven state agencies and health science center.
Other responsibilities include providing strategic direction in all aspects of the management of the Office of General Counsel, including personnel, budget, legal services, coordination of legal interpretations and opinions related to policies, procedures, rules and regulations affecting operating procedures, personnel and students in the A&M System.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $772 million and help drive the state’s economy.