Jennifer Esterline, Executive Director

Jennifer is the founder and executive director of the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, a collaboration of private, corporate and community foundations across the state working to promote, protect, and improve Texas public education through advocacy and public policy.

Jennifer has been working in the nonprofit space for over 15 years, first as a program and development director for nonprofit and higher education institutions, and later as executive director for the KDK-Harman Foundation in Austin. A proud product of Texas public education, Jennifer grew up in Dallas and received her B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Over the past decade, Jennifer has volunteered in a number of capacities for a variety of nonprofits working in the fields of education and health and human services. Currently, she serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Central Texas. Jennifer lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three young sons. She hopes to carry on the family tradition by inspiring her children with a passion for nonprofit work and a commitment to public service.

David Anderson, Advocacy Consultant

David D. Anderson has managed the HillCo Partners’ education policy team since 2003. David is recognized across Texas and the country for his insights on educational policy and in the educational sales and marketing arena. He has handled client interests in curriculum policies, graduation requirements, high school completion, instructional materials, assessment & accountability, school finance, disciplinary alternative education, career & technical education, and early childhood.

From 1997 until 2003, he was the managing director of curriculum at the Texas Education Agency. He coordinated the TEKS implementation and worked on various statewide initiatives in curriculum, assessment, professional development, and instructional materials.

David grew up in McGregor. Following graduation from McGregor High School in 1969, he attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he received an undergraduate degree in 1973 and a master’s degree in 1976. He has done additional post-graduate work at UT-Austin and at Harvard University.

Mary Jalonick, Assistant Director

Mary Jalonick recently retired from over 30 years as the President of The Dallas Foundation. She has served as Chair of the TEGAC Leadership Committee and is now joining TEGAC as Assistant Director.  A native of Dallas, Jalonick graduated from Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, DC. Over a lifetime of service, she has won numerous awards and held a variety of leadership roles. She is  a member of the Texas Education Agency’s Philanthropic Council and a member of the Advisory Council of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2012, Mary received the Award for Excellence in Community Service from the Dallas Historical Society “for Outstanding Contributions in Philanthropy.” She is also a member of the Junior League of Dallas Community Advisory Board and the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty. She has served as president of the board of trustees of The Hockaday School, Girls’ Adventure Trails, Educational Opportunities, Inc. and the Charter 100 of Dallas. 

Mary's years of experience leveraging foundation capacity to improve the Dallas community and education efforts statewide makes her an invaluable addition to the team. Mary will serve as the project lead for our "Big Tent" School Finance Work Group in addition to focusing on early childhood policy work, membership development and legislative affairs.

Jennifer Harris, Communications Specialist

Jennifer Harris has joined the TEGAC team as our Communications Specialist. She is founder of JWH Communications, a public affairs consulting firm. Jennifer brings more than 15 years of extensive strategic communications, grassroots and coalition management and media relations experience to the Consortium. 

Prior to forming JWH Communications in 2010, Ms. Harris was a director with ROSS Communications, managing client accounts across several industry sectors including telecom, transportation and health care. Jennifer has extensive experience managing communications for several public officials and public agencies, notably as a former spokesperson for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and former director of communications for Texas' Secretary of State Geoff Connor. She continues to work for former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza in a number of capacities. Jennifer has also managed public affairs campaigns in the private sector for Fortune 50 companies, statewide and national associations and international businesses. Jennifer's expertise will guide TEGAC's communication strategy overall as well as lead the communications work for our school finance policy work group.

Elayne Buechler, Development and Communications Manager

Elayne has more than 12 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector.  A native Texan, Elayne graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and completed a joint masters degree in Public Affairs and Journalism at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Elayne has worked as a research assistant for companies such as GSD&M and Higher Ed Holdings, as well as a reporter for the Texas Observer and Texas Nonprofits Magazine. She has served as Senior Public Affairs Officer at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and as Director of Development at the Texas Association for the Protection of Children (TexProtects). Elayne brings an extensive background in public affairs and communications to the work of the Consortium and provides support to the executive director in all areas of communications and fundraising.