Gwyn Shea of Irving, Texas, was appointed to the Board in 2007 and reappointed in 2013. Her term expires in May 2019.
Regent Shea started a long and distinguished career in state politics in 1967 when she jumped in at the local grassroots level. She was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1982 and served the Irving area for 10 years as a state legislator. In 1985, the Texas Federation of Republican Women selected her as one of 10 recipients of the “Outstanding Republican Woman” award.
In 2001, she received her highest appointment as the Secretary of State for Texas, the top elections official in the state, serving until 2003. Regent Shea has been a longtime trailblazer in Texas politics. During her time in the legislature, she became the first woman to be elected President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, the first woman to be appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee as well as the first woman to serve as a Legislative Counselor to the American Legion Boys’ State.
In 1993, Regent Shea, who attended the University of North Texas and Dallas Baptist University, and graduated from Dallas Baptist University Police Academy – she is a certified police officer - became the first Republican woman appointed to serve as Constable.
Now retired, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors from various organizations, including the Texas Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Leadership Award for outstanding public service, The Soroptimist International of Irving’s “Women Helping Women” award for her contributions in the field of government, plus from the Texas Municipal League, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Civil Justice League and the Texas Association of Concerned Taxpayers.
She has a lengthy record of community involvement, including being the Director of the Irving Chamber of Commerce and President of the Women’s Division of the Chamber. She also served on the advisory board of the Irving Infant Intervention Center, Irving CARES and Professional Secretaries International. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Irving.
Regent Shea has two grown children and two grandchildren.