Donald L. Evans was appointed as the 34th Secretary of the Commerce by President George W. Bush in 2001, 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 three 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, in 1946, 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 from Houston and began his career as a “roughneck” working on oil rigs for Tom Brown, Inc., a large independent energy company. Ten years later, he took the helm of the company as CEO, continuing in that position until being tapped by the President to lead the Commerce Department. He also served as the Chairman of Energy Future Holdings Company, formerly TXU Energy, from 2007-2018, and currently he serves as Chairman of The Permian Strategic Partnership.
In 1995, Evans was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents; he was elected chairman in February 1997 and served two consecutive terms. Evans was also a board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for eight years. He was named a University of Texas Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and inducted into the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame in 2002.
Currently, Evans serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors at MD Anderson and is an Independent Director at Extraction Oil & Gas. Also, he is a senior partner at Quintana Capital Group, senior advisor at Energy Capital Partners, and member of the advisory board of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Evans has remained active in his hometown community of Midland, Texas where he resides with his wife, Susan Marinis Evans, and serves on the Midland Memorial Hospital Board of Governors. His passions in life are his faith, family, and friends. They have two daughters, one son, and five grandchildren.
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Don Evans: Leaders Need to Go to Their Core Values to Make Hard Decisions
Don Evans, Chairman of the Board of the George W. Bush Foundation, spoke last month to the second class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program. In this Bush Institute interview, Evans, who served as Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush, discusses the importance of using core values and thinking long-term when making difficult decisions as a leader in any walk of life.
Don Evans: How the global economy has changed and why isolationism is not the answer
Don Evans, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, spoke recently with the Bush Institute about the need for America to compete with the world economically. Now the Chairman of the Board of the George W. Bush Foundation, Evans explains how the global economy has changed over the last 40 years and why isolationism is not the answer to our economic challenges.