Bob and Elyse Lanier are active public servants with deep roots in the Houston area. A Baytown-native, Bob was one of the most popular mayors in Houston’s history (1992-1998), named by Texas Monthly one of the three top Texas mayors of the 20th Century. As mayor, he made Houston safer, improved infrastructure and valued diversity.
Bob previously served as chairman of the Texas Highway Department and of Houston Metro. Not yet retired, he still manages real estate properties, lectures, and lends his expertise to civic, academic and political endeavors, including chairing the non-profit corporation which developed Hilton Americas-Houston convention hotel downtown and doing other “behind-the-scenes” work benefiting the city and region.
As Houston’s first lady, Elyse often met with foreign and trade delegations, experience that continues to serve us well in her role as commissioner on the Port of Houston Authority. Elyse is also actively involved with the Texas Medical Center Board and its institutions, University of Texas Health Science Center and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Both Bob and Elyse are particularly active in supporting Dr. James Willerson’s stem cell research programs at Texas Heart Institute.
Education is an area of keen interest for the Laniers. Elyse served on the University of Houston’s Board of Regents from 1994-1997. She and Bob continue a formal relationship with the John F. Kennedy School of Public Affairs, specifically with its Leadership Program headed by former presidential advisor and journalist David Gergen. They are involved in the Houston Community College System and oversee the Lanier Public Policy Conferences at the University of Houston, where the Bob Lanier Chair in Urban Public Policy is endowed.
Bob and Elyse are parents of seven and grandparents of 11.