Julia Rathgeber Appointed UT System Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken today announced the appointment of Julia Jeffrey Rathgeber as Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, effective February 1, 2024. Rathgeber will serve as liaison between the UT System and the Texas Legislature, addressing a wide range of policy and budget issues that impact UT’s education, health and research activities. Additionally, she will serve as the UT System's liaison with the state’s executive branch officials, state government agencies and local governments, and oversee the UT System’s federal relations.

Julia Rathgerber profile photo

Rathgeber brings extensive expertise in governmental relations, policy development, and leadership in Texas government to the UT System as she returns to the public sector after spending the last two years in the private sector as Vice President of Governmental & Regulatory Relations & Business Development for Berkshire Hathaway Energy.  Previously, Rathgeber worked more than three decades in Texas government, including senior positions with all three leadership offices of the Texas Capitol – in the Governor’s, Lt. Governor’s and Speaker’s offices.

Rathgeber served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan from 2021 to 2022, providing guidance to the Speaker on public policy, along with political and governmental issues, while developing and implementing strategies for the passage of key legislation in the Texas House. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott from 2015 to 2016, and at the Office of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst from 2003 to 2013. She served as President and CEO of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas from 2016 to 2021.

“With a successful track record in Texas government that spans more than 30 years, Julia Rathgeber is uniquely qualified to lead the UT System’s Office of Governmental Relations,” said Kevin P. Eltife, Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “Throughout her career, Julia has shown the ability to build consensus and navigate complex policy issues for the greater good of Texans.”

Chancellor Milliken cited Rathgeber’s extensive experience in state government and industry as strong features of her appointment. 

"Julia Rathgeber has a distinguished record of successfully demonstrating knowledge in a wide array of public policy and budget matters, and she has longstanding, collaborative relationships with many agencies and officials that will serve the UT System very well,” said Milliken. “We look forward to her contributions as a member of our executive leadership team.”

Rathgeber, who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Juris Doctor (JD) from The University of Texas School of Law, said she’s excited to return to the UT community.

“I am excited and honored to join the UT System team. I know firsthand the value of a UT education and I look forward to helping continue that commitment to excellence and to supporting the academic and health institutions that serve Texas, our nation, and the world so well,” added Rathgeber.

In her new role, Rathgeber will succeed Stacey Napier, who held the vice chancellor position from November 2018 until January 2024. Napier recently accepted a new appointment with the UT System as General Counsel to the UT System Board of Regents.

About The University of Texas System

The University of Texas System has enhanced the lives of Texans and individuals worldwide through its commitment to education, research and healthcare for 140 years. With 14 institutions collectively enrolling over 256,000 students, the UT System stands as one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions annually produce over 63,000 graduates and award more than one-third of the undergraduate degrees in Texas, as well as over 60% of the state's medical degrees. The combined efforts of UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics resulted in over 10.6 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days last year. The UT System’s $4.3 billion research enterprise is one of the nation’s most innovative and ranks No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation for federal research expenditures. The UT System has an operating budget of $29.1 billion for fiscal year 2024 and employs more than 122,000 faculty, health care professionals, support staff and student workers.

News Contact Information

Catherine Frazier: cfrazier@utsystem.edu • 512-499-4360 (direct)