LBJ Foundation to be led by new Chairman and President
Apr 30, 2010
Larry Temple Becomes Only the Third Chairman in LBJ Foundation History
Elizabeth Christian Assumes Post of Foundation Board President
AUSTIN, Texas—Larry Temple, who has served as President of the LBJ Foundation since 2002, will become Chairman, fulfilling a role that has been held for the past thirty years by Tom Johnson. There have been only two Chairmen of the LBJ Foundation in its existence, Tom Johnson (1980 - 2010) and Frank Erwin (1969-1980.) While stepping down as Chairman, Johnson will remain an active member of the Board. In recognition of Johnson’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Foundation, the Board has awarded him the title of “Chairman Emeritus.”
“After thirty years as Chairman of the Board, it's time for me to pass the baton to my good friend Larry Temple,” said Johnson. “He will take the Foundation to new heights of excellence in the years ahead.”
Elizabeth Christian will become President of the LBJ Foundation. “Keeping the legacy of President Lyndon Baines Johnson alive for future generations has long been a major commitment of my family’s and mine,” Christian said. “I'm honored at the opportunity to help steer this vitally important organization.”
Ambassador Lyndon L. Olson, Jr. and Ben Barnes will serve as Vice Chairmen.
The changes in leadership will become effective on April 30, 2010. The LBJ Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports the LBJ Library and Museum and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Chairman Larry Temple is a respected Austin attorney who has previously served as President of the LBJ Foundation. Temple has dedicated much of his professional and personal life to education. With undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Texas, Temple was chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, President of the Texas Exes, a member of The University of Texas Development Board, Centennial Commission, and the Commission of 125. In 1990, The University of Texas System Board of Regents established the Larry Temple Scholarship Endowment awarding scholarships to students in the College of Liberal Arts. Temple served as Special Counsel to President Johnson during his presidency.
President Elizabeth Christian is a fourth-generation Austinite and a graduate of The University of Texas. She has been involved in public relations, journalism, and political affairs for more than 30 years. She is president of Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations. In 2004, Christian was named “Public Relations Practitioner of the Year” by the Texas Public Relations Association. She is the immediate past president of the Headliners Club and is also on the boards of KLRU television and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has been active with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded a massive school bonds campaign in Austin in 1996, and was instrumental in the campaign to build the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Christian and her team provided their public relations expertise to the Tribute to Lady Bird Johnson when she passed away in 2007.
Vice Chairman Lyndon L. Olson, Jr. was the US Ambassador to Sweden from 1998-2001. He previously served as President and CEO of Travelers Insurance Holdings, Inc., and the Associated Madison Companies, Inc. Olson was chairman of the Texas State Board of Insurance from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1987. A graduate of Baylor University and Baylor Law School, Olson was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1973 to 1978 where he was Chairman of the Committee on Higher Education. Olson lives in Waco, Texas.
Vice Chairman Ben Barnes is an author and has been an influential player on the American political scene for four decades. Barnes launched his political career while a student at The University of Texas. At the age of 21, he ran for state representative from his home district and won in an upset. At age 26, Barnes was the youngest person to serve as Speaker of the Texas House. He became Lieutenant Governor of Texas at the age of 30. Barnes is the author of Barn Burning Barn Building: Tales of a Political Life, from LBJ to George W. Bush and Beyond. He is the founder and CEO of Ben Barnes Group and lives in Austin.
Chairman Emeritus Tom Johnson - Under his leadership as Chairman, the LBJ Foundation Board supported a major renovation of the LBJ Library’s permanent exhibit, a multi-million dollar repair of the Library's Auditorium and Plaza, the creation of the Lady Bird Johnson Center, and the nationally acclaimed processing and release of telephone conversations recorded by President Johnson. While Johnson was Chairman, the LBJ Library has become widely known as the flagship of all presidential libraries. In addition, Johnson spearheaded the celebration of Lyndon Johnson's Centennial in 2008. Most recently, Johnson welcomed a new Dean to the LBJ School of Public Affairs along with a renovated state-of-the-art School complex.
Johnson is the former Chief Executive of CNN News Group, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and a former member of the Rockefeller Foundation Board. He is a member of the Board of Visitors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. During LBJ’s presidency, Johnson was Deputy Press Secretary and a White House Fellow.
About the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is responsible for managing gifts that benefit two institutions at The University of Texas at Austin—the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Founded by President and Mrs. Johnson, it supplements funding not available from the Federal government to enhance the experience of the visiting public and provides grants for scholars and researchers who come to explore the Library's collections. As one of only 13 presidential libraries in the country, the Library was established to preserve and make available for research the papers and memorabilia of President Johnson. A changing array of exhibits, engaging symposia, and community outreach programs are also supported by the Foundation.
The Johnsons' profound belief in the value of education is mirrored in the mission of the LBJ School. It attracts the best and most creative minds in preparing graduate students for leadership positions, to organize public policy research, to provide continuing education for professionals, and to foster community involvement.