Breakout Moderator Biography
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)
Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) was first elected to represent Texas' 15th Congressional District in November 1996. Prior to his being elected to the 105th Congress, Congressman Hinojosa served twenty years as President and Chief Financial Officer of a family-owned food processing company, H&H Foods. With over 300 employees, H&H has received national awards of recognition by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
The Congressman serves on two House committees, Education and the Workforce, and Small Business. His Education Committee assignment and his appointment to chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Education Task Force, were critical to the success of his first major legislative initiative entitled "The Higher Education for the 21st Century Act." This bill secured an increased authorized funding level of $62.5 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), enhanced visibility of HSIs within the Higher Education Act, relaxed the restrictions for institutional eligibility for HSI designation and improved the ways and financial means by which HSIs strengthen curriculum development, academic instruction, mentoring, and college libraries.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Congressman Hinojosa has been very active on the Tax, Finance, and Exports Subcommittee as well as the Subcommittee on Government Programs and Oversight. He increased access to capital and loans for small businesses, removed tax and regulatory burdens and promoted business growth and opportunity in economically depressed areas through new and improved SBA government programs. He also led a successful effort to create a Womens' Business Center at the University of Texas-Edinburg.
Born in Edcouch, Congressman Hinojosa attended Mercedes High School and earned a BBA and an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin and in Edinburg, respectively.