The Holdsworth Center announces President and Vice President to lead work on behalf of public schools


For Immediate Release                                  Media Contact: Melissa Ludwig, 210-380-0733

May 28, 2018

(AUSTIN, TX) – The Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute for Texas public schools founded with a $100 million gift from H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt, has named Kate Rogers as President and Dr. Lindsay Whorton as Vice President and Dean.

Rogers spearheaded the center’s creation and held the title of Executive Vice President while the board conducted a national search for a president.

“After a national search, we concluded that the leader we sought for this critical start-up phase was right in front of us,” said Ruth Simmons, chair of The Holdsworth Center’s Governing Board, President of Prairie View A&M University and former President of Brown University. “Kate Rogers has the right talents, skills and commitment to continue leading this important work. What she has accomplished in the space of a year is incredible, and the team she has put together is second to none.”

Previously, Rogers served as the Vice President of Corporate Communication and Health Promotion at H-E-B, where she oversaw all internal communications as well as employee engagement programs for the company. While at H-E-B, Rogers created and launched the company’s early childhood literacy program, Read 3, which provides an in-store experience, a community outreach curriculum and access to free and affordable books to ensure all children begin their school experience with an opportunity to succeed. In 2006, Rogers was awarded Ford’s Salute to Education award for her work in creating the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the largest monetary awards program in the state honoring outstanding public school teachers, principals and districts.  Rogers also led the statewide H-E-B Health and Wellness Task Force and was responsible for the launch of H-E-B’s Nutrition Services program.

In addition to her role at Holdsworth, Rogers has led the development of a series of career-themed high schools known as the Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) to support San Antonio students in reaching their maximum potential while also helping to fill local workforce needs.  She is the proud daughter, granddaughter and sister of Texas public school educators.

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Rogers earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising/public relations from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She is a graduate of the Leadership Austin Class of 2000 and the Leadership San Antonio Class of 2005 and attended the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas to study education policy. Rogers currently serves as co-chair of SA Works, helping connect local employers with education institutions and providers in order to offer relevant work-based learning opportunities for students across Bexar County.

Dr. Lindsay Whorton, formerly a consultant for Boston Consulting Group(BCG), worked hand-in-hand with Rogers to develop The Holdsworth Center and its programs. While at BCG, Whorton worked in retail before taking a secondment to support the development of the center. She worked closely with the organizing board as they studied best practices in leadership development both within the education sector and beyond in order to develop the blueprint for The Holdsworth Center’s inaugural programs.

“Dr. Whorton is a thoughtful but action-oriented leader who is able to navigate challenges and drive the work forward in a meaningful way,” said Ann Stern, chair of The Holdsworth Center board’s governance committee and president and CEO of the Houston Endowment. “We are fortunate she made the leap of faith to move to Texas and join us on this journey.”

Prior to BCG, Whorton worked as Legislative Director for Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston, where she coordinated a broad legislative portfolio including education, criminal justice and economic issues. Additionally, Whorton led Urban Leaders Fellowship, which recruits up-and-coming leaders from around the nation and builds their skills in policy and leadership.

During her time with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Whorton designed a grant program to promote effective school practices. While at the American Federation of Teachers, she designed a prototype database to identify and celebrate high-performing public schools nationwide.

Whorton earned a doctorate in social policy from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She lived in Helsinki, Finland as a Fulbright Scholar while conducting research for her dissertation examining the impact of teachers’ unions on performance-related pay reform in Finland, Switzerland, Texas and Florida. In 2015, she published “Teachers Unions and Education Reform in Comparative Contexts.”

Before traveling across the pond, Whorton earned degrees in English and secondary education at Drake University in Iowa, where she was captain of the women’s basketball team, an Academic All-American and currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

The Holdsworth Center

Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded by Charles Butt, a lifelong advocate for public education, The Holdsworth Center partners with public school districts to cultivate a pipeline of effective leaders to ensure that every classroom and campus in Texas thrives under inspired and dynamic leadership.Named after Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, an educator and dedicated philanthropist, the Center offers world class training and leadership development to school districts selected to participate through a generous multi-year investment.  For more information, visit