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The Shepperd Leadership Institute remains rooted in John Ben Shepperd’s legacy and is currently rebuilding and reimaging itself for the future. We are committed to honoring the past and paving a new way forward to sustainably serve UT Permian Basin, the region, and our shared state of Texas. You will see the return of the established programing – like the Distinguished Lecture Series and leadership trainings – along with pioneering programs, like the Permian Basin Water In Energy Conference and a new partnership with the Ellen Noel Art Museum. Our history is rich, our future is bright, and we’re so glad you’re here to join us!

OUR NAMESAKE: JOHN BEN SHEPPERD

John Ben Shepperd (1915-1990) dedicated his life to leadership and encouraging young Texans to lead. He served as Texas Secretary of State along with Attorney General. After retiring from public service, he worked as an attorney in Odessa and was a strong advocate for the creation of UT Permian Basin. In 1995, to honor Mr. Shepperd’s legacy, the Texas Legislature created the Shepperd Leadership Institute at UT Permian Basin.

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OUR NAMESAKE: JOHN BEN SHEPPERD

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John Ben Shepperd (1915-1990) dedicated his life to leadership and encouraging young Texans to lead. He served as Texas Secretary of State along with Attorney General. After retiring from public service, he worked as an attorney in Odessa and was a strong advocate for the creation of UT Permian Basin. In 1995, to honor Mr. Shepperd’s legacy, the Texas Legislature created the Shepperd Leadership Institute at UT Permian Basin.

SHEPPERD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE TEAM

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Kate Williamson

Executive Director

Kate joined the Institute staff in May of 2020. Over the last decade, she led the Basin Hill Group and has worked for several United States Congressmen. Her passion for leadership, public policy, and service began in college and she is actively involved in Midland civic and statewide leadership organizations. Kate is also involved in the vibrant philanthropic community of the Permian Basin. Williamson grew up in Vernon, Texas, graduated from the Hockaday School in Dallas in 1999, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in Honors studies from Texas Tech University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, and a minor in Political Science. She lives in Midland, with her husband Clint, and their two children Hunter (14) and Ella (12).

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Shelby Landgraf

Director of Community Engagement

Shelby is a proud West Texan and is passionate about community and connection. Prior to joining the University in July 2021, she worked as an award-winning news anchor for CBS7 and broadcast journalist for more than a decade. She covered a wide range of historic events over her career in TV news, but her passion has always been positive stories that inspire and increase connection. Shelby is active in her West Texas community as a volunteer and board member. Growing up a “military brat,” she lived in multiple states and countries overseas, but she spent part of every childhood summer visiting family in the Permian Basin. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Speech Communication and Business Administration. Shelby and her husband have one young daughter and live in Odessa.

PERMIAN BASIN WATER IN ENERGY CONFERENCE

The annual Permian Basin Water In Energy Conference connects industry leaders, experts, and professionals to exchange best practices and cutting-edge approaches for water management in oil and gas production. The Permian Basin Water In Energy Conference is a program of the Shepperd Leadership Institute, allowing students at UT Permian Basin to directly benefit from the conference proceeds.