Adjunct Professor and Fellow
Ray Martinez teaches the Center's course, "Election Law and Policy." He currently serves as director of government relations for Rice University, where his responsibilities include coordination of the university's legislative priorities and extensive interaction with government officials at the state and federal level. Previously, Martinez operated a public policy and government relations law firm and concurrently served as a policy advisor on election issues for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Martinez has extensive experience in the public sector. Most recently, he served as a commissioner and vice chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a bipartisan federal agency responsible for assisting state and local governments to improve the process of election administration.
During the Clinton administration, Martinez held several key posts, including: deputy assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs; regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and special assistant to the president in the White House Office of Political Affairs. Prior to his service in the federal government, Martinez worked for the Texas Attorney General's office and as legislative aide for state Representative Sylvester Turner.
Martinez has spoken extensively to national and international organizations on topics including health care, education and election reform. He has lectured at continuing legal education forums, keynoted numerous conferences and symposiums, and been interviewed extensively by media outlets including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Martinez has published commentaries in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun and Roll Call, and in 2006 published an academic commentary on improving voter confidence in Election Law Journal. Martinez formerly served as chairman of the executive board for the Overseas Vote Foundation, a nonpartisan organization working to improve the voting experience for uniformed and civilian American citizens living and working abroad.
A native of Alice, Texas, Martinez received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and his bachelor's degree from Southwestern University.