Civic and Volunteer Leadership
Annette Strauss, a dedicated public servant and civic leader, was the first elected woman mayor of Dallas; she was a champion of inclusive government.
Mrs. Strauss led the Dallas City Council in creating an endowment fund for the city’s minority and emerging artists, a Center for Profit Management to help small businesses, and she pushed for the city’s first shelters for the homeless. In these shelters, she stressed the importance of rehabilitation and drug treatment.
Mrs. Strauss was a leader in economic development. She launched the Dallas International Initiative in trade, finance, education, medicine, culture and sports, and she worked to strengthen the partnership between Dallas’ public and private sectors. Mrs. Strauss served as co-chair of President George Bush’s Commission on America’s Urban Families and as chair of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University.
She served on the boards of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, the March of Dimes, Very Special Arts, and the Women’s Research and Education Institute. She received numerous awards including the Virginia Nick Service to Dallas and International Leadership Award and the Hannah Solomon Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service from the National Council of Jewish Women. Other awards included the Toastmaster’s International Communication and Leadership Award, the Women Helping Women Award from the Women’s Center of Dallas, and the John F. Kennedy Commitment to Excellence Award and the 1992 Distinguished Alumna Award from the Texas Ex-Students Association at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mrs. Strauss earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin and completed her master’s degree in sociology and psychology at Columbia University.
Annette Strauss died December 14, 1998.