Senator Ellis has passed over 600 pieces of legislation and is recognized nationally for his leadership on increasing greater access to college for high-achieving Texas students, championing criminal justice reforms to protect the innocent and hold the guilty accountable, and fighting to provide quality affordable health care to the most vulnerable Texans, amongst many other issues.
Senator Ellis is the proud founder of the Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP). Since TLIP’s inception, it has become the largest legislative internship program in the state, providing over 600 young people the opportunity to develop hands-on skills while making a difference in Texas politics and public policy.
Senator Ellis is is a member of the Senate Committees on State Affairs, Business & Commerce, and Transportation. In past sessions, he chaired the Senate Committees on Finance, Jurisprudence, Government Organization, Intergovernmental Relations, and Open Government.
In 1999 and 2000, Ellis served as Acting Governor of Texas for a record fifty days whenever then-Governor George W. Bush and then-Lt. Governor Rick Perry were both out of the state at the same time. Ellis also served as the official Lieutenant Governor of Texas for 7 days, 7 hours and 31 minutes after Governor Bush resigned and Lt. Governor Perry became governor.
Senator Ellis is a partner with Rice Financial Products, Inc., a shareholder with The Tagos Group, and of counsel with the law firm of Reaud, Morgan, & Quinn. Ellis has been a pivotal leader in assisting many African nations as they continue to transition from the regimes of the past to more modern, responsive governments. He also played a key role in helping Mexico ratify the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Senator Ellis chairs the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project and serves on the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees, the University of Texas School of Law Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Senator Ellis was born and raised in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood. He is a product of the Texas public school system from grade school through law school. Although a financial advisor by trade, his passion is public service. Elected to the Texas Senate in 1990, Senator Ellis has earned praise as a leader on economic development, education, civil rights, budget, responsible environmental policy, tax cuts for the middle class, criminal justice, and workforce development policy.
Before joining the Texas Senate, Senator Ellis served three terms on the Houston City Council, and as chief of staff to the late U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Senator Ellis also studied at Xavier University of New Orleans and the London School of Economics.
Rodney Ellis is married to Licia Green-Ellis and has four children.