Political People and their Moves

Natalia Luna Ashley was named the new executive director for the Texas Ethics Commission on Thursday. She had been serving as the agency's interim executive director.

UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia was named to lead the newly created University of Texas Institute of the Americas. According to a release, the institute "will focus on developing the next generation of leadership, rooted in the values of a democratic society, and will provide a non-partisan venue for convening discussions of critical issues with global significance."

Betty Reynard was named sole finalist for president of Lamar State College-Port Arthur by Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall. Reynard is currently vice president for academic affairs and was selected for the new post after an internal search that began last year.

Priscilla Pipho has been named to the newly created post of Chief Customer Officer at the Texas Department of Information Resources. She comes to the agency from the Board of Professional Engineers and the Board of Architectural Examiners where she served as deputy director.

The Texas Department of Transportation announced a pair of staff hires:

•    Richard C. McMonagle takes over as the agency's new chief of staff. A retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, McMonagle comes to TxDOT from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he directed the infrastructure division.

•    Darran I. Anderson was named the agency's new chief strategy and innovation officer. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Anderson is leaving the Trideum Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., where he was a senior program manager.

The pair start work in June.

Ryan Cassin, the CEO of Dallas-based BEAST Digital, was named a 2014 'Rising Star' by Campaigns & Elections magazine. The award was given to 10 Republican, 10 Democratic and 5 non-partisan/independent consultants.

Disclosure: The Texas State University System is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Brian McCall is a major donor to the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.