President - District 7
Edward D. Garza attended the University of Texas at Austin, studying Business Administration for two years before transferring to Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (1992) and a Master of Science in Land and Real Estate Development (1994). In 2004 Garza was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.
Garza is an independent consultant specializing in urban planning, public policy, real estate development and investment. Prior to his current role, Garza held leadership positions for local and global planning, design, and management firms. In his professional role, Garza has brought vision and strategic planning to downtowns, master planned communities, urban villages, waterfronts, deserts, neighborhoods and transportation networks in places around the world. Garza has also held adjunct professor positions at the University of Texas at San Antonio and St. Mary’s University.
Garza has served on numerous corporate and governing boards including the Texas A&M University Foundation, San Antonio chapter of American Institute of Architects, San Antonio Historic Design and Review Board, CPS Energy, San Antonio Water Systems, City South Management Authority, National League of Cities, Fannie Mae Advisory Board, NALEO, and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.
Garza served eight years as a municipal elected official. In 2001 at the age of 32, Garza became San Antonio’s youngest mayor in the city’s history. He served the maximum, two terms as Mayor of San Antonio and prior to that served two terms as a City Council representative. Garza was elected in an unprecedented fashion by garnering a cross-section of political, geographic and socio-economic support; based on his platform of sustainable economic growth, modernization of the city’s governance structure and balance sustainable growth for the city’s under-invested southern sector.
The hallmark of Garza’s administration for economic development and balanced growth was the successful partnership with the state of Texas, in luring Toyota to invest over a billion dollars in a new manufacturing facility in south San Antonio. The combination of Toyota’s (5,000 plus) high paying jobs and a new Texas A&M University campus have become the economic drivers in Garza’s urban regeneration vision for San Antonio’s long neglected southern sector, today known as City South.
In 2009, Garza was once again elected by voters to serve on the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees. Garza ran on a vision to rebuild an aging urban school district based on high academic achievement, “back to basics” discipline/core values, and leadership/character development; with the vision to transform SAISD into a national model urban school district by 2020.
Garza has received numerous awards and citations. He has been featured in the New York Time’s, Wall Street Journal, Texas Monthly, Urban Land Magazine, and CNN and listed in Hispanic Business magazine as a “most influential” Hispanic leader. Garza has testified before Congress and given presentations and key note speeches to groups including the National Security Agency, U.S. Embassy’s International Initiative (Argentina, China and Mexico), International Rotary, Urban Land Institute, and American Institute of Architects, National League of Cities, International Downtown Association, and International Council of Shopping Centers.
Garza is married to Anna Laura and both are members of St. Paul Catholic Church. The Garza’s are active members in the Jefferson - Woodlawn Lake neighborhood and have devoted time and resources to various non-profile organizations including the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, San Antonio Children’s Shelter and Urban Youth Soccer Academy of San Antonio.
Hear from a few of our alumni:
- John Quinones, ABC News
- Senator Leticia Van de Putte
- Dr. Ricardo Romo, UTSA President
- Sophia Bahena, Harvard graduate student
- Greg Simmons, KSAT 12 News