Austin has over a decade of legislative & policy experience, governmental relations. She is a strong communicator, strategic analyst and licensed attorney (TX, MA). She has provided budget and policy consulting to organizations and governmental bodies. Developed and launched impactful initiatives and built successful collaboratives. Managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders that leverage in-depth knowledge of local, state, and federal budget and legal/regulatory processes and policy frameworks. Austin has also evaluated program effectiveness and efficiency and developed options to improve outcomes.
Prior to consulting work, Austin spent six years with the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB) . During her tenure she managed budget team monitoring and analyzing the federal budget and its impact on state fiscal implications. Consulted with stakeholders to identify and recommend policy and budgetary actions to the Legislature to maximize federal funding, including CARES Act, to the state. Analyzed and reported on federal legislation, regulation, and policy changes with state fiscal implications. Developed and presented testimony on various federal congressional actions to appropriations and policy committees. Austin also performed high level research and analysis work on higher education, K-12, workforce, and criminal justice issues. Collected, analyzed, and interpreted data from various sources and reported on the implications and results of the information reviewed. Made presentations and recommendations to legislative body and staff on policy matters. Independently and effectively created timely, relevant, accurate, and valid work products, including policy reports. Identified alternatives and made recommendations supported with evidence. Knowledge of legislative process and related issues/history/trends.
Prior to the LBB, Austin worked with the Texas House of Representatives as a Session Policy Analyst where she covered Higher Education and Juvenile Justice & Family Issues committees during the Texas legislative session. Liaised with legislation authors’ offices, other legislative staff, and external stakeholders to analyze legislation and provide comprehensive perspective on potential impact of legislation for publication in Floor Reports.
Before moving to Texas, Austin worked with the Boston Private Industry Council where she was the lead coordinator for city-wide, multi-stakeholder Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative, aimed at designing and strengthening education and career pathways for 16-24 year old’s. Convened multiple partners to advocate for and evaluate policy changes to support youth and young adults. Managed agenda development, progress monitoring, and stakeholder outreach. Presented work product and updates on project goals. Analyzed data on out of school youth in Boston and managed creation and submission of two successful national grant applications, securing over $200 thousand in funding.
Austin holds a J.D. from The University of Tennessee College of Law and a B.A. in English from Colby College.