A native Texan and 30-year resident of Travis County, Ann Howard attended Houston public schools then entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (sociology) degree, Master’s of Public Affairs degree and Juris Doctorate degree. While at the LBJ and Law Schools, Ann focused on juvenile court reform and studied under her beloved professor, Barbara Jordan.
After graduation Ann served as legal counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., chaired by Senator Joe Biden, where she worked on criminal justice reform. Ann later represented teens in the Travis County juvenile courts as a private defense attorney.
During this time Ann served as Board Chair of CEDEN as it merged with Any Baby Can, a non-profit group serving vulnerable children and families; as Chair of One Voice Central Texas, a coalition of social service agency executive directors; and helped to lead two successful campaigns to win voter approval of City of Austin affordable housing bonds.
For the eight years before being elected to serve as Travis County Commissioner in November 2020, Ann served as Executive Director of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), an alliance of over 50 governmental and non-profit groups working to transform the local response to homelessness. Ann grew ECHO from its inception into a thriving organization with a staff of 25 and annual operating budget of $3.75 million.
Ann has been married to her law school classmate, Dell executive John Howard, for 30 years. Together they have raised three children and been active leaders in Austin public schools, youth sports, scouts, the University of Texas and the Lutheran Church. Ann and John have recently become grandparents.
Ann's work in the community has been recognized by the Foundation for the Homeless, Front Steps, First Tee of Greater Austin and others. In 2017, Ann was inducted into the Austin Women’s Hall of Fame.
A former camp counselor in Colorado, Ann loves spending time outdoors kayaking and gardening. Ann’s longtime friend and noted local attorney Beverly Reeves is her campaign treasurer.