On Feb. 12, 2010, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the appointment of Dr. Maria Hernández Ferrier as the inaugural president of TAMU-SA. Ferrier previously served as interim president in June 2009.
Ferrier began working with the university as executive director when the institution was a system center of Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Under her leadership, the system center accomplished many key objectives, including the approval of the master plan for the permanent campus, the passing of funding legislation, and the growth of academic programs and enrollment. The signing of Senate Bill 629 during the last legislative session established A&M-San Antonio as a stand-alone institution.
Prior to her career with A&M-San Antonio, Ferrier held a number of national education appointments. On March 11, 2002, President George W. Bush named Ferrier to direct the Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students in the United States Department of Education. During her tenure at the Department of Education, she rose first to deputy undersecretary, then to assistant deputy secretary.
Ferrier served as the principal advisor to the secretary of education on all matters pertaining to students of limited English proficiency and Hispanics in general. In addition to developing policy and guidance for the field, she oversaw a staff of 50 professionals and a budget of approximately $679 million. As a spokesperson for the secretary and the department, Ferrier gave hundreds of speeches, media interviews, and presented awards to deserving schools and school districts across the country. She previously directed Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs, appointed by Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander, and was named to the Commission on National and Community Service by President George H. W. Bush in 1991.
Ferrier earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech and a Master of Education in guidance and counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University. She currently serves on the board of directors at Southwest Independent School District Foundation Board of Directors, Lackland Air Force Base Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) Executive & Advisory Committee, KLRN-TV Public Broadcasting System Board of Directors, and The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.