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Senior Data Analyst: A data analyst works with Sunset staff to conduct nonpartisan, objective evaluations of Texas state agencies. If you are interested in applying, please visit the Jobs page of our website for details. 

Jeff Austin Biography

Jeff Austin III is a seventh generation Texan, a fourth generation banker and currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Austin Bank Texas, N.A. and Austin Bancorp.  He previously served as President and CEO of affiliate bank First State Bank, Frankston, now merged into Austin Bank Texas, N.A.  He serves on the Board of Directors for affiliate banks First State Bank, Athens and Capital Bank, Houston.  He worked away from the family banks for 10 years before returning in 1990 to East Texas. In January 2009, the Austin family celebrated 100 years of being active in Texas banking.

Jeff graduated from Jacksonville High School. After attending SMU, he earned his MBA and BS degrees from the University of Texas at Tyler. He also graduated from the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU, Banking Leadership Texas and Leadership Tyler.

Appointed twice by Governor Rick Perry, Jeff served as Commissioner on the Texas Transportation Commission from October 2011 to August 2019. The Commission oversees statewide activities of the Texas Department of Transportation.  He also served as Chairman of TxDOTs Audit Committee for five years. 

In February 2005, he was the first appointed Chairman of the newly formed North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA) by Governor Perry. He was reappointed in May 2006, February 2008, and March 2010. The NET RMA initially included Smith and Gregg Counties, and was the first RMA in Texas to expand by adding Cherokee, Rusk, Harrison and Upshur Counties in September 2006. Six additional Counties were added in 2007.  Jeff has been involved in several East Texas transportation projects and has served on the TXDOT’s Phase I Corridor Selection Advisory Committee, TXDOT’s RMA Rules Advisory Committee, the Tyler MPO Technical Committee and he is a member and former Executive Committee Member of the Texas Good Roads/Transportation Association.  He also participated in the 2006 Beta testing for the new TxTag, the new statewide electronic tolling device.

Jeff is involved with the Texas Bankers’ Association (TBA).  He was TBA Chairman in 2010-2011, served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, was Chairman of the Government Relations Council, the 2008-2009 Treasurer, Chairman of the Texas Bankers Association Service Company, Chairman of the TBA BankPac and Compliance Committees and currently serving on the Past Chairman’s Council. In May 2007, he was honored with the TBA’s Chairmans Award. He has been an active participant in the American Bankers Association’s Government Relations and Grassroots Committees, and is currently a member of the Community Bankers Council

In March 2017, he was awarded the Texas Government Official of the Year by the East Texas Council of Governments.  He currently serves on the Board of the United Way of Tyler. He is a Past Chairman of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and was honored in 2001 as the Volunteer of the Year.  Jeff has also served on the Board of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tyler Economic Development Corporation and was a member of Tyler’s Vision 2010 Steering Committee.  He has also served as a member of the Frankston/Lake Palestine Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, where he was honored as Co-Citizen of the Year in 2002.  He is an Advisory Director for the Texas Rose Festival Association and Past Chairman of the UT Tyler Audit Committee.

In October 2018, Jeff was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Good Turn Award by the East Texas Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and is currently serving as the ETAC’s Alumni Committee Chairman.  As a former Scout, Scoutmaster and District Chairman, Jeff is a Board member and a Past President of the East Texas Area Council of Boy Scouts which covers 17 East Texas Counties and remains active in scouts.  He is on the Executive and Foundation Boards. He is Wood Badge trained and has served on staff at the BSA National Jamboree.

Jeff is a Past President of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and the Jacksonville Rotary Club. He is a past Board Member of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Foundation, the Frankston, Texas ISD Board of Trustees, the Anderson County Appraisal District Board, the Trinity Mother Frances Hospital Foundation Board, the University of Texas Tyler Business School Advisory Board, the Development Board and Audit Committee of the UT Health Science Center in Tyler, the Better Business Bureau of East Texas, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County in Tyler. Jeff is a Texas Lyceum alumnus, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and the Texas Navy Association. Jeff and his wife Becky live in Tyler, Texas and have four adult daughters. His hobbies include hunting, hiking, skiing, genealogy, photography and travel.