For more than a century, graduates of The University of Texas School of Law have
been leaders in law, public service, and civic leadership, living extraordinary lives that
embody the university’s beloved motto, “What starts here changes the world.” Starting
in 1958, the Texas Law Alumni Association established an annual award to honor
greatness in the law school’s alumni community, recognizing outstanding achievement
and service to the school.
Alumni Association President Demetrius McDaniel said, “Texas Law alumni have an
established standard of excellence as evidenced by their contributions to the legal
profession, their communities, and our law school. Barry Smitherman is an outstanding
representative of Texas Law and incredibly deserving of this honor.”
Barry Smitherman is an attorney, consultant, investor, and board member for not-for-
profit and for-profit organizations. He is the Chairman, President, and co-founder of the Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance, and is an independent director of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
Barry is also the Chairman of the Board of Brookwood in Georgetown, a God-centered
vocational community that provides meaningful work, housing, and a sense of
belonging, dignity, and respect for adults in Central Texas with functional disabilities.
He served on the Texas Railroad Commission from 2011-2014, serving as Chairman
from March 2012 through August 2014. First appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to a vacant
seat on the commission, Barry won a statewide election in 2012.
Before joining the Railroad Commission, he served on the Public Utility Commission of
Texas, including four years as Chairman. He also served two terms on the U.S.
Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee; the Board of Directors of the
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; and was Chairman of the
NARUC Gas Committee, the ERCOT Board of Directors, the Southern States Energy
Board, the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, and the Regional State
Committee of the Southwest Power Pool.
Barry has also served on the boards of Ballet Austin, the Eanes ISD Educational
Foundation, the Texas Public Finance Authority, and the Harris County Health Facilities
Development Corporation and was Vice-Chairman of the Texas Advisory Panel on
Prior to entering public service, Barry spent 16 years as an investment banker, with J.P.
Morgan Securities, The First Boston Corporation, and Banc One Capital Markets, where
he was a Managing Director and National Head of the Public Finance group.
Barry received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, his M.P.A. from
Harvard University, and his B.B.A. summa cum laude from Texas A&M University. He
has been married for 36 years, has four grown children, and has one adorable (and