Austin ISD Executive Leadership Team

Stuart Bowen, General Counsel

Stuart Bowen

A lifetime public servant, Stuart has served elected officials of both parties in rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse, providing legal strategy, managing crises, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Much of Bowens’ experience in the public sector has been as a financial watchdog. As Inspector General for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, he successfully fought to reduce Medicaid fraud, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

As the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction for both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, he produced more than 400 audits and inspections that led to the recovery of more than $1.5 billion. He also created a "lessons learned" program that saved taxpayers $8 billion.

Stuart’s public service career began as an Air Force intelligence officer, and, after graduating from law school in the early ‘90s, he came to Austin to serve as a briefing attorney for Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez. Following his judicial clerkship, he worked as an Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Dan Morales and then served on then-Governor Bush's staff as Deputy General Counsel

Contact: stuart.bowen@austinisd.org

Sean Brinkman, Chief Technology Officer

Sean Brinkman

An Austin ISD and ACC dad, Sean Brinkman leads the district's emerging technology department, which provides the necessary and best possible technological learning tools for students, teachers, administrators and staff.

He has served as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, director of school leadership and most recently as assistant superintendent for information technology at Dallas ISD. 

Brinkman has Bachelor of General Studies and Master of Education degrees from Northwestern State University. He received his principal certification from the University of Texas Permian Basin and is a Certified Education Technology Leader from the Consortium for School Networking. 

A Marine veteran who served in the Army National Guard, Brinkman twice jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and reports that he was petrified each time. He enjoys hiking, bike riding and tennis.  

Contact: sean.brinkman@austinisd.org

Elizabeth Casas, Chief Academic Officer

Elizabeth Casas

Elizabeth Casas leads the district’s Academic Office, overseeing student programs and academics. The office includes Special Education and Multilingual Education, Health Services, Academics and Performing Arts. 

Casas has more than 24 years of experience as an educator and administrator. She began her career at Dallas ISD as a bilingual teacher, and earned the Teacher of the Year Award.  She held several leadership roles in Dallas, including assistant principal, principal, executive director and assistant superintendent. 

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and holds a Masters of Education Administration degree from the University of North Texas.

Contact: elizabeth.casas@austinisd.org

Toni Córdova, Chief of Staff

Toni Córdova

Toni Córdova works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes and handle issues before they are brought to the superintendent.

Córdova oversees the Office of Innovation and Development and the Department of Student Enrollment and Advocacy. 

She has more than 15 years’ experience in education, with a large part of her career supporting executive leadership. She most recently served as chief of communications at the second-largest school district in Texas, Dallas ISD.

Cordova has worked for several school districts including Albuquerque Public Schools, NM, as the chief of staff; chief strategy officer at the Santa Clara County Office of Education, CA; and chief of staffs at Socorro ISD, El Paso, and at Tucson Unified School District, AZ. 

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona. 

Contact: toni.cordova@austinisd.org

Ashley Gonzalez, Chief of Police

Chief Ashley Gonzalez

Ashley Gonzalez serves as the district’s chief of police. He leads 89 full-time police officers, including 43 School Resource Officers, 20 patrol officers and two mental health coordinators. There are two SROs assigned to every high school campus and one SRO assigned to every middle school campus. The department also employs 39 civilian staff, including dispatchers, office support staff, emergency management and life safety systems personnel.

Chief Gonzalez has served more than 32 years in law enforcement and has more than 15 years of executive administrator, command and supervisory experience. The majority of his leadership experience has been working with youth and schools. 

Prior to joining AISD he was the deputy chief of police for the Norwalk Police Department in Connecticut. He began his career in Norwalk as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks from detective, sergeant and lieutenant to deputy chief. 

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University. Chief Gonzalez is a bilingual native Spanish speaker.

Chief Gonzalez wanted to be a doctor and even volunteered at a hospital for two years. But when working at a retail store, a customer who was a police sergeant told him that he would make a great police officer and signed him up to take the police exam. The rest is history.

Contact: ashley.a.gonzalez@austinisdpolice.org / Follow: @AISDPolice

Dr. Stephanie Hawley, Equity Officer

Dr. Stephanie Hawley

Dr. Hawley is Austin ISD’s first equity officer. The office was established in 2019 to ensure children receive what they need to develop to their full academic and social potential. 

As equity officer, Dr. Hawley helps the district build its capacity for achieving equitable outcomes by partnering with departments to enhance equity-centered leadership development, strategic and facilities planning, and professional learning, and by engaging marginalized communities to help bring about systemic change. 

Dr. Hawley has more than 30 years of experience in K–20 education. Prior to joining the district, she was the associate vice president for equity and inclusion at Austin Community College. At ACC she led the development and implementation of the college’s equity progress report assessment guide to promote and enhance institutional accountability for changes in policies and practices for equity. 

Dr. Hawley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English composition from the University of North Texas and a Master of Science degree in education from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She received her doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. 

She is active in her profession, serving on the Principal Leadership Academy Advisory Committee at UT Austin, in the College of Education’s Cooperative Superintendency Program, and as a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Dr. Hawley lives in Austin with her husband of many decades and is mother to four awesome adult children and is a grandmother to two amazing two-year olds. She enjoys reading, hiking, racquetball, crafting, gardening and watching other people cook. 

Contact: stephanie.hawley@austinisd.org / Follow: @AISDEquity

Dr. Anthony Mays, Chief of School Leadership

Dr. Anthony Mays

Dr. Anthony Mays leads the district's school leadership team, overseeing the associate superintendents of secondary schools and elementary schools, and the assistant superintendent for student support services.

Mays has more than 20 years of experience as an education professional. He served as a classroom teacher, principal and now as an administrator. His most recent appointment was senior director of schools for the Harris County Department of Education. He has worked in Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD, beginning his career at Pflugerville ISD as a special education teacher.

Mays has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Huston-Tillotson University and a Master of Education from Texas State University. He received his doctorate in education from Tarleton State University. Dr. Mays is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Downtown and University of Houston-Lone Star College Kingwood.

Active in his community, he serves a vice chairman of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators Central Office Commission.

Contact: anthony.mays@austinisd.org

Eduardo Ramos, Chief Financial Officer

Eduardo Ramos

Eduardo Ramos serves the district as the Chief Financial Officer. He manages the financials of Austin ISD, including the budget, purchasing, state and federal grants, this historically utilized business program and more. Ramos has worked in school finance for 25 years, including chief of operations at Pflugerville ISD and deputy superintendent of finance and operations in Hutto ISD.

He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Edward's University with a double major in Accounting and Finance.

Contact: eduardo.ramos@austinisd.org

Dr. Jacob Reach, Chief of Governmental Relations & Board Services

Dr. Jacob Reach

Dr. Jacob Reach was appointed by the superintendent to lead a new office to support trustees and the district. Dr. Reach has 15 years working as an education professional, most recently serving as the district’s chief of staff.

He began his career in Lubbock ISD at Alderson, a middle school identified as Title 1. While at Alderson, he started a chess program for students, who won the inaugural Lubbock ISD chess tournament that following year. 

He also worked for the Texas Education Agency, where he oversaw the grant programs for the state. He has worked for AISD for 10 years in various leadership roles in finance, the school's office, and now leading our legal office, governmental services and board services. 

When not working, he enjoys fly fishing, and will commonly visit fishing spots in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. He and his wife have one child who will attend Bear Creek Elementary and are expecting their second child this December.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and sociology and a Master of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University. He received his doctorate of education from Northeastern University in Boston.

Contact: jacob.reach@austinisd.org

Matias Segura, Chief of Operations

Matias Segura

Matias Segura oversees Construction Management, Planning and Asset Management, Facilities Maintenance, Transportation and Fleet Management, Food Service and Warehouse Operations.

He was previously the Operations Officer for the district and has 16 years of experience in construction management, real estate, and operations.

Prior to joining AISD, he was the director of the Travis County Civil and Family Complex Program. He led the program to build a new courthouse, an office building, associated subsurface parking garage, surrounding infrastructure and site improvements.

Segura has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Professional Engineer and an Austin ISD graduate.

Contact: matias.segura@austinisd.org / Follow: @Matias_AISD

Jason Stanford, Chief of Communications & Community Engagement

Jason Stanford

An AISD dad himself twice over, Jason Stanford oversees the Department of Communications and Community Engagement, which includes AustinISD.org, social media platforms, media relations, community engagement, marketing, translation, AISD.TV, and outreach efforts to families, staff, and community members.

Stanford has 28 years of experience in media, campaigns, and communications. His most recent position was with Hill+Knowlton Strategies as the senior vice president of global communications. He also served as Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s communications director.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies from Lewis & Clark College, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

Stanford has co-written two books. His latest is The New York Times-bestselling “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth.” His bylines have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Tribune, Texas Observer, Texas Highways, and even some publications that have nothing to do with Texas.

Contact: jason.standford@austinisd.org / Follow: @JasStanford

Leslie Stephens, Chief Human Capital Officer

Leslie Stephens

Leslie Stephens leads the Office of Human Capital, which encompasses Talent Acquisition and Development, Human Resource Services, and Accountability and Assessment. The Human Capital team supports the recruitment, development and retention of high-quality, equity-focused, diverse teachers and staff to meet the needs of all students. In addition, Human Capital develops programs and initiatives to ensure the well being of each of Austin ISD's 11,000 employees and supports campuses through data-driven performance management.

Stephens brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position. She has worked in similar roles in San Antonio, Edgewood and Dallas school districts. She has more than 30 years experience in education, with 10 of those years as a classroom teacher.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education and Master of Arts degree in education leadership.

Contact: leslie.stephens@austinisd.org / Follow: @WeAreAISD