Skip to Content
Questions or Comments:

Office of the Executive Director

The executive director, who is hired by the commissioners, is responsible for managing the agency's day-to-day operations.

Kelly Keel, Executive Director
Steven Schar, Deputy Executive Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Kelly Keel, Interim Executive Director
Kelly Keel
Steven Schar ,Interim Deputy Executive Director
Steven Schar







Major responsibilities of the executive director include directing the operations of 17 statewide offices, implementing commission policies, making recommendations to the commissioners about contested permitting and enforcement matters, and approving uncontested permit applications and registrations.

The deputy executive director serves as chief operating officer to assist the executive director in the administration of the agency.

Six office clusters report to the executive director. Each office is headed by a director. These directors are responsible for administering our regulatory and administrative programs.

Office of Administrative Services
Office of Air
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Office of Legal Services
Office of Waste
Office of Water

Also reporting directly to the executive office:
External Relations
Intergovernmental Relations
Toxicology, Risk Assessment, and Research

See also:
Executive Director's Agendas

External Relations

Ryan Vise, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The External Relations Division works to continuously improve and streamline the delivery of information to the public and within the agency via all manner of distribution points, including social media, websites, email, and print.

The division coordinates the agency response to all media inquiries, prepares and distributes agency news releases, and coordinates news conferences. The division also has a publishing staff that coordinates, produces, and distributes regulatory and general informational materials. This staff oversees the public and intranet homepages and website navigation, and partners with agency employees to produce usable, accessible web and print content.

The division works with regulated entities, industries, and manufacturers to implement pollution prevention, recycling, and innovative environmental programs—and provides education opportunities through seminars and workshops on regulations, including the Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.

The division administers the TCEQ’s Public Education Program. These program staff answer questions about pending TCEQ permits, explain the permitting process, help the public learn of opportunities for public participation on permit applications, and operate a toll-free hotline for the general public (800-687-4040). In addition, the Public Education Program distributes the TCEQ Customer Satisfaction Survey, which encourages customers’ feedback on their experiences with the agency. Every two years, the Public Education Program summarizes the most recent survey responses in a Report on Customer Service to the Legislative Budget Board.

The division also manages Take Care of Texas, a statewide campaign that provides helpful information on Texas' successes in environmental protection and encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. The program includes an interactive website at, radio and television public service announcements, free print publications to educate Texans of all ages, classroom resources, social-media sites, and more.

See also:
TCEQ Social Media
News Releases
Publications Catalog

Intergovernmental Relations

Katherine Thigpen, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Intergovernmental Relations Division coordinates the agency response to congressional and state legislative inquiries and constituent issues, legislative initiatives, and interim committee studies affecting the agency. IGR also coordinates the agency’s testimony and participation during legislative sessions and ensures that the Legislature is informed of the TCEQ’s initiatives and activities. In addition, the division serves as a clearinghouse for border-affairs information for the TCEQ and coordinates agency comments on national policy issues.

See also:
Reports to the Texas Legislature
National Comments Log

Toxicology, Risk Assessment, and Research

Sabine Lange, Ph.D., Chief Toxicologist
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

This division provides toxicological support for a broad range of agency activities. The division assesses risks to human health and makes technical recommendations regarding agency permitting, monitoring, and enforcement.

For example, TCEQ toxicologists:

  • Conduct the toxicological evaluations of air permit applications.
  • Develop Effects Screening Levels that are protective of human health and welfare.
  • Develop health- and welfare-protective Air Monitoring Comparison Values.
  • Evaluate environmental data collected from the air, water, and soil from a health-effects perspective.
  • Characterize and communicate health risk and hazard to citizens and external stakeholders.
  • Make recommendations for the addition or removal of areas to the Air Pollutant Watch List based on air monitoring data.
  • Review Baseline Risk Assessments and other remediation-related documents submitted under the Texas Risk Reduction Program and the Risk Reduction Rules for state and federal Superfund sites.
  • Conduct applied research relevant to the agency’s mission.

The division also includes the agency’s environmental research library, which maintains a specialized collection of materials to provide scientific, technical, and legislative information in support of all TCEQ programs.

See also:
TCEQ Toxicology
Environmental Research Library