Vice President - External Affairs
AEP Texas President and COO Judith E. Talavera has named Robert Black vice president of External Affairs, effective April 1. He will be responsible for governmental affairs as well as community and customer activities for the company. He replaces Julio Reyes who will retire in July after 47 years of service.
Currently, Black serves as AEP Texas director of Governmental Affairs, a position he has held since joining AEP Texas in 2009.
Black brings nearly 30 years of experience in governmental relations and strategy from the private and business sector including leadership positions under former Texas Governor Rick Perry. He previously served as Texas Governor Rick Perry's Communications Director and as Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Perry's Presidential campaign. Robert also served as the communications director for Greg Abbott's successful 2002 campaign for Attorney General and later as a senior media advisor for Abbott's first campaign for Texas Governor.
Robert serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas and the Public Affairs Council.
Black began his career as a legislative assistant in the Texas House of Representatives and later working for two Texas state senators. He also spent time working in Washington DC in the Majority Leader's office and later for the Committee on Ways & Means.
"Robert is a seasoned leader and professional in his field," said Talavera. "He brings a keen public affairs insight at both the state and local level to this position and understands the complex policy needs to serve our customers both now and in the future."
In an effort to enhance the company's customer service operations, Talavera also announced that Robert Knowles, manager of Customer Services, along with his direct reports, will be moved under External Affairs and report to Black.
Talavera said the purpose of the change is to develop a more streamlined approach to serving and responding to our customers and communities as their needs and expectations continue to change and our industry continues to evolve.
She also recognized Reyes for his many contributions to the company over a long and distinguished career.
"I want to express my sincere thanks to Julio for his years of service to our company. He began his career as a lineman trainee and progressed over the years, holding various management and senior level positions. Providing the best level of service to our customers has been always been front and center for Julio and he enjoyed building long-term relationships in the communities we serve. We wish him and his family all the best in their future adventures."
Black holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He and his wife, Romina, have two children.