The Public Counsel serves as the executive director of the agency and has authority over administrative and legal decisions, as well as the daily functions of the agency. The Public Counsel is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to a two-year term. The current Public Counsel, Melissa Hamilton, was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in December 2017 and began serving as Public Counsel on January 2, 2018.
Before being appointed, Ms. Hamilton served as the Director of Government Relations for the Texas Department of Insurance. Prior to her tenure at TDI, Ms. Hamilton worked as Staff Counsel for Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar. Ms. Hamilton has also previously served as a regulatory attorney for the Nationwide Insurance Company, as a staff attorney for The Justice Project, and as a Fair Trial Initiative Fellow at Texas Defender Service.
Ms. Hamilton graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.