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Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program History

The Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program began in 1992 at the Texas Water Commission (a predecessor agency to the TCEQ) in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Chemical Council, the Texas Council of the American Electronics Association, and many private corporations.

Mickey Leland

Photo of Mickey Leland
The late Mickey Leland, U.S. Representative from Texas

The program honors the late U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland's effective efforts to promote a clean and healthy environment. Congressman Leland was killed in a plane crash on August 7, 1989, en route to Ethiopia on a mission as Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Hunger.

Leland's environmental commitment is well documented:


  • Noted for his contributions as a member of the Subcommittee on Health and Environment
  • Emphasized and demonstrated the importance of heightened awareness and involvement of minority participation in the protection of public health and environmental issues
  • Consistently addressed public health issues related to the minority community
Photo of Mickey Leland
Leland leads a House delegation to Ethiopia on a tour of famine-stricken areas in 1984.

Congressman Leland was one of the nation's most effective leaders on environmental issues and mentored many of today's Texas leaders. He remained a community activist who always took time to help the underprivileged and under represented. This program was initiated to celebrate and honor his work.

Program Mission

  • To heighten the awareness and encourage the participation of minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged college/university students regarding environmental-related issues and policies;
  • To develop a diversified work force within Texas' environmental agencies and private corporations by promoting employment opportunities for students exploring future professional opportunities in the environmental fields; and
  • To train and equip students for future careers as environmental professionals.