HBU alumnus and former soccer player Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca was sworn in as governor of the Mexican state of Tamualipas on October 1, 2016. Cabeza de Vaca graduated from Houston Baptist University in 1990 with a degree in management and marketing. He was born in McAllen, Texas, and has dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca is a member of the Mexican PAN party, or the National Action Party (in Spanish Partido Acción Nacional). He is the first governor of Tamaulipas in nearly 90 years who is not a member of the PRI, Institutional Revolutionary Party. Tamaulipas is a Mexican state just south of Texas that also borders the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the trade between Texas and Mexico happens at this shared border.
Cabeza de Vaca visited the HBU campus in September where he met with several University leaders, professors and coaches and spoke to a marketing class. He was excited to discuss his goals as governor, including building business between the two states of Tamaulipas and Texas, increasing security, lowering crime and ending corruption.