Wendy Montoya Cloonan
Wendy is a native Houstonian, born and raised, and a product of local public schools. Wendy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, where she earned the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship. She thereafter attained a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University and went on to receive her Doctor of Jurisprudence with Honors from The University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Wendy received the Tom Martin Davis Endowed Presidential Scholarship.
Wendy began her legal career at Vinson & Elkins LLP 16 years ago. Throughout her career in the public finance arena, she worked at the intersection of law, finance, and community infrastructure. She then entered philanthropy at the Houston Endowment and served as both the education portfolio officer and oversaw legal matters. Wendy worked with a varied portfolio of non-profit clients and the public and private sector to improve the quality of life for residents of greater Houston. In 2019, Wendy formed The Law Office of Wendy Montoya Cloonan, PLLC.
Throughout Wendy’s career, she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to diversity actively leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. In these efforts, Wendy focuses on the recruitment and retention of women and employees from under-represented communities. The Law Office of Wendy Montoya Cloonan, PLLC is 100% owned and operated as a Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise and is certified as such by the City of Houston as well as a Historically Underutilized Business by the Comptroller of the State of Texas. Wendy is the sole shareholder and is Latina and Native American.
In addition to her legal practice, Wendy is on the Board of Directors of CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) where she serves on the Compensation Committee and Governance, Environmental, and Sustainability Committee.
Dedicated to public service, Wendy serves as a Port Commissioner on the Port of Houston Authority Port Commission. She serves as Chair of the Business Equity Committee and successfully stewarded the adoption of the Port’s Business Equity Policy and Business Equity Department creation. In addition, she serves on the Governance, Compensation and Community Relations Committees. In 2020, Harris County Commissioner’s Court appointed Wendy to the $30,000,000 COVID-19 Relief Fund Committee. In May 2021 Wendy was voted a Trustee to the Harris County Hospital District Foundation.
Wendy remains active in civic organizations as she is committed to community involvement. Wendy sits on the national board of The Young Center, which champions the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children. Additionally, Wendy lends her time to her children’s schools serving as a former elementary school PTO President and middle school PTO President. Wendy also sits on the Board of Directors of ALMAAHH (Advocates of a Latino Museum of Cultural and Visual Arts & Archive Complex Houston/Harris County). She also annually interviews high school students as a member of the Yale Alumni/Schools Committee.
Always eager to contribute back, Wendy and her husband, Shawn, established an endowment at the Houston Food Bank and enjoy volunteering with their children whenever possible. A strong believer in supporting youth education, they also established an endowment at The University of Texas at Austin. The memorial endowment in honor of Wendy’s brother, Joey, serves as a scholarship fund which annually benefits students who like Wendy and Joey, are from Houston and first-generation college students.