Donald L. Evans was appointed as the 34th U.S. Secretary of the Commerce in 2001 by President George W. Bush, where he served until 2005. He was a strong advocate for the free-enterprise system, free and fair-trade agreements, and responsible corporate stewardship. To encourage job creation, Evans worked closely with President Bush to reduce taxes, open markets for American goods and services, and promote a level playing field abroad. A trusted friend and advisor for more than four decades, Evans worked on President Bush’s successful Texas gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998 and served as chairman of the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Campaign.
Born in Houston, Texas, Evans attended the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1969 and an M.B.A. in 1973. During school breaks, he worked in a Texas steel mill. In 1975, Evans moved to Midland, Texas and began his career as a “roughneck” working on oil rigs for Tom Brown, Inc., a large independent energy company. Ten years later, he became CEO of the company, a role he held until being tapped by President Bush to lead the Commerce Department. From 2007-2018, Evans served as the Chairman of Energy Future Holdings Company, formerly TXU Energy.
In 1995, Evans was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents, serving as Chairman from 1997 to 2001. Evans was also a board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for eight years. In 2002, he was named a University of Texas Distinguished Engineering Alumnus, inducted into the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame, and named a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. In 2014, Evans was inducted as a Texas Business Hall of Fame Legend and was a 2019 inductee of the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor.
Currently, Evans serves as Chairman of the George W. Bush Foundation, as Chairman of the Permian Strategic Partnership, and as senior advisor at Energy Capital Partners. Evans is immediate past Chairman of the Board of Visitors of MD Anderson an continues to serve on the board. Evans has remained active in his hometown community of Midland, Texas and serves on the Midland Memorial Hospital Board of Governors.
His passions in life are his faith, family, and friends. Don and his wife, Penelope Slade Evans, have a family of 6 children and 7 grandchildren. They reside in Midland, Texas.