Raise Your Hand Texas Names Charles Gaines Director of Government Relations

August 20, 2020  

Laura Mellett, Director of Policy Content and Public Affairs
[email protected] (512)-586-1804

Gaines brings strong personal connections at the Texas Capitol and experience in government relations

AUSTIN, TX (August 20, 2020)Raise Your Hand Texas today announced that Charles Gaines, the former advancement and governmental relations officer at Abilene Christian University, will serve as the organization’s director of government relations.

In his new role, Gaines will help implement Raise Your Hand’s political efforts to improve public education policy in Texas and serve as a direct liaison to state elected officials, their staff, and state agencies. 

Gaines comes to Raise Your Hand after working for a decade in higher education, non-profit philanthropy, and state politics. In his role at Abilene Christian, he developed strong relationships at the capitol through his work on behalf of students, including helping to secure major gifts for various university initiatives. He was a candidate for public office and worked on several campaigns as an outreach and fundraising strategist. He is also known for his work in the areas of child advocacy and equity, having served on the boards of Travis County Child Protective Services and the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center.

“Charles has been a strong advocate for Texas children and is deeply dedicated to seeing that all children receive the high-quality education they deserve,” said Dr. Michelle Smith, vice president for policy and advocacy at Raise Your Hand. “He is a bridge-builder and community leader with the capitol connections and political experience needed to help us address the many policy challenges within public education.”

Gaines holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University. In addition to his work on behalf of children, he is deeply involved in his community having participated in the Round Rock Ascend Program and having served on the board of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce.


Raise Your Hand Texas supports public policy solutions that invest in our students, encourage innovation and autonomy, and improve college and workforce readiness. For more information, visit

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Twitter: @RYHTexas

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